Cognizant powers SoftBank robots

Cognizant has announced that it has been selected by SoftBank Robotics Europe, a leader in humanoid robotics, to provide Quality Engineering and Assurance (QE&A) services for the artificial intelligence (AI) systems in Pepper and NAO robots. Cognizant’s expertise ensures high quality machine-human interactions and will enable SoftBank Robotics Europe to scale production to meet rising global demand in sectors such as retail, healthcare, tourism and education.

Cognizant’s QE&A engineers dedicated to AI, based in Grenoble, France, will develop a standardised testing protocol for the NAOqi operating system – the two robots’ “brains” – as well as their default applications for speech recognition, movement perception and obstacle and collision avoidance, to ensure optimal performance. Cognizant will also provide testing services for the development toolkit and content management system, as well as testing applications developed by partners, to ensure conformity to rules and policies throughout SoftBank Robotics Europe’s entire value chain.

Cognizant’s advanced testing capabilities will also enable SoftBank Robotics Europe to develop apps more quickly, allowing their Pepper and NAO robots to be even more intuitive, agile and personalised. Today, these robots are mainly being used in shops and public places to welcome, inform and entertain customers, and in educational settings, such as helping children to learn in a unique and fun way.

“In Cognizant, we found a partner with proven capabilities in testing and assessing the quality of advanced artificial intelligence software. In our case, that means ensuring high-quality humanoid robots work flawlessly and are increasingly able to safely and securely interact with humans by understanding their behaviour and expectations in a variety of situations,” said Charles Broussaudier, CIO at SoftBank Robotics Europe. “Cognizant understands that the success of our humanoid robots lies in their ability and quality of their operation. Comprehensive QE&A capabilities are crucial, helping us reduce costs, scale our business globally and speed time to market for updates and functionality enhancements.”

“Success in the digital economy means reimagining products and experiences at speed and scale with a clear understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations,” said Santosh Thomas, President, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant. “Today, robotics technology is moving at a fast pace and is already enriching experiences, providing guidance and assisting people in need. Our unique QE&A skills will help ensure quality through the entire artificial intelligence system, and enable faster development and introduction of new features, ultimately boosting the adoption of robotics as a way of further improving lives.”

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