Speaker's Profile


Kaname Hayashi

Father of Pepper                 Founder and CEO, GROOVE X

Kaname Hayashi is the Founder and CEO of GROOVE X, Inc., a company designing and developing a new, next generation household robot that no one has seen before, that touches people’s hearts and inspires real affection. Kaname and GROOVE X aim to announce its first model in 2018 and hit the market in Japan in 2019.

Before founding GROOVE X in November 2015, Kaname was the first project and development leader of SoftBank’s humanoid robot “Pepper” from 2012 to 2015, responsible for developing and launching the first model to the market.

Kaname started his career at Toyota in 1998, working mainly as aerodynamics engineer, involved in developing the LEXUS’s first supercar “LFA” and Toyota’s Formula One racing cars.

While still at Toyota, he enrolled in SoftBank Academia in 2011, a leadership program created by SoftBank’s Founder and CEO Masayoshi Son. Catching Son’s eye, Kaname was asked to lead the new “Pepper” project and joined SoftBank in 2012.

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