The Occupy Mars Learning Adventure

Training Jr. Astronauts, Scientists & Engineers

Can Nao and Pepper Robots Help Us on Mars?

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Pepper is a humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics (formerly Aldebaran Robotics), which is owned by SoftBank, designed with the ability to read emotions. It was introduced in a conference on 5 June 2014, and was showcased in Softbank mobile phone stores in Japan beginning the next day.  Pepper’s emotion comes from the ability to analyze expressions and voice tones.Pepper was launched in the UK in 2016 and there are currently two versions available.


The robot’s head has four microphones, two HD cameras (in the mouth and forehead), and a 3-D depth sensor (behind the eyes). There is a gyroscope in the torso and touch sensors in the head and hands. The mobile base has two sonars, six lasers, three bumper sensors, and a gyroscope.[4]

It is able to run the existing content in the app store designed for Aldebaran’s other robot, Nao.


Pepper is not a functional robot for domestic use. Instead, Pepper is intended “to make people happy”, enhance people’s lives, facilitate relationships, have fun with people and connect people with the outside world.[5] Pepper’s creators hope that independent developers will create new content and uses for Pepper.[6]

Pepper is currently being used as a receptionist at several offices in the UK and is able to identify visitors with the use of facial recognition, send alerts for meeting organisers and arrange for drinks to be made. Pepper is said to be able to chat to prospective clients.

The robot has also been employed at banks and medical facilities in Japan, using applications created by Seikatsu Kakumei. and is also employed at all Hamazushi restaurants in Japan.

Action Research

Teachers, engineers and scientists working at the Barboza Space Center are working on new training materials for the Nao and Pepper robots.  We are getting ready to work with students with special needs. Our students with autism will be in the first round of our action research projects.

Graphic Organizers for Robot Programs

We are training our students and teachers using custom software and graphic organizers designed for the Nao and Pepper robots.

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Robot Programs for Gifted and Talented Students

The STEAM++ (science, technology, engineering, visual and performing arts, mathematics, computer languages and foreign languages), the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures project-based learning and space science summer fellowships, and robot building will continue in 2018.  We invite you to follow our photo essays.

Contact Information

Bob Barboza, Founder/Director

Barboza Space Center

Long Beach, California, USA

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Author: Kids Talk Radio

Bob Barboza is an educator, STEM journalist, software designer and founder of The Occupy Mars Learning Adventures and the Barboza Design and Space Centers. He leads a team of scientists, engineers and STEAM++ educators. They are training students to become Jr. astronauts, scientists and engineers. His team provides internships and workshops in STEAM++ and the integration of Common Core State Standards and Next Generations Science Standards. Contact information:

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