Other clauses prohibit using Pepper to send out spam email but the ban on sex with the plastic machine — which stands just 120-centimetres (four feet) and moves on rollers — is the most baffling, causing social media in Japan to light up in amazement.

While SoftBank wants Pepper to behave like a good little robot and not a spicy sex-bot, the fine print is somewhat ambiguous, with some people taking it to mean customers are not barred from physical relations with the droid, just from using it for “improper purposes”.

SoftBank said lewd acts could trigger punitive action, although exactly what kind of punishment offenders faced — and how anyone would ever find out — was not made clear in yet another grey area.