On the same week that Softbank announced that it would ship the first 350 units of its robot Pepper to developers, the CEO of the French subsidiary that developed Pepper, Aldebaran, has announced that he is selling his remaining Aldebaran shares and stepping down as CEO. Bruno Maisonnier will stay on as an advisor to Softbank’s CEO; however, this lines up 100% with what we had been hearing last year when we wrote that Aldebaran was being sucked dry by Softbank.
This is a sad end for a company that scared Google into acquiring robots companies, as we reported last year. Aldebaran was once lightyears ahead when it came to humanoid robots – regardless of who is at fault (and, let’s be clear, it definitely isn’t Softbank’s fault), it’s a shame to see yet another opportunity missed in France.
Well, we called it: Aldebaran is dead, all hail the Softbank Pepper