ASK stands for "Autism Solution for Kids." The robot is programmed with games and applications geared toward helping autistic kids develop social and learning skills. "Most children on the autism spectrum have a natural attraction towards technology and Nao's humanoid shape creates a perfect link between technology and humanity," said Olivier Joubert, autism business unit manager at Aldebaran.… Read more
With each passing year, it seems robots evolve faster than humans do. Last week, a group of students at the University of Freiburg's humanoid robots lab in Germany detailed how they gave robots the ability to maneuver extremely difficult obstacles, such as stairs and ramps, without assistance.
To achieve this relatively new level of robotic maneuverability, the researchers implemented a "2D laser scanner, a monocular camera, an inertial measurement unit, and joint encoders" into a Nao robot, according to a research document (PDF). … Read more
Telepresence robotics applications continue to get curiouser and curiouser. For instance, how about grooming your cat via a humanoid robot avatar?
Veltrop devised an interesting control apparatus for Nao, a popular research robot known for its RoboCup soccer skills.
He wanted to manipulate Nao from a distance, so a treadmill and Kinect were used to navigate the bot, while a head-mounted display controlled Nao's head while showing its camera feeds. Veltrop could thus see through Nao's eyes.
A Wii remote and the Kinect were used to control Nao's arms, including the task of using a brush to groom a cat. … Read more
Just in time for Christmas, France's Aldebaran Robotics has upgraded its Nao humanoid robot, making it better at obeying orders for the big cleanup.
Nao Next Gen is the latest version of the popular research robot, and it's looking more and more lifelike.
The 23-inch droid has been outfitted with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and two HD cameras linked to a field-programmable gate array for faster processing of both video streams. Intel Capital led a $13 million investment in Aldebaran earlier this year.
It also boasts better speech recognition with a program called Nuance, allowing Nao to pick out individual words in a conversation. … Read more
If you think robots are heartless piles of plastic and silicon, you're correct. But soccer-playing humanoid robot Nao has been evolving by developing "emotions" under a European project and is now being used in the U.S. in sessions to treat autistic children.
Under the recently concluded Feelix Growing project--aimed at designing bots that can detect and respond to human emotional cues--researchers at the University of Hertfordshire's Adaptive Systems Group and other centers have been trying to get Nao to simulate human emotions.
Researcher Lola Canamero and colleagues have been programming Nao--created by Aldebaran Robotics and used worldwide as a research bot--based on how human and chimpanzee infants interact with others. Working with a budget of some $3.2 million, the researchers have been trying to create robots that can be better companions for people.
In a gushing report, the Daily Mail has hailed Nao as "the first robot capable of developing emotions and forming bonds with humans."
Robot fans who remember Sony's robot dog Aibo, discontinued in 2006, will recall that it had a range of synthetic emotions and could "grow" emotionally according to how it interacted with its owner.
It's no surprise that the researchers have also been experimenting with Aibo, including the cyberpup and Nao in a "robot nursery" designed to incubate emotional behaviors. Nao can so far express excitement, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, and pride, and supposedly has the "emotional skills" of a 1-year-old child.
Using its facial-recognition skills, Nao can become attached to people who help it learn, just like a human infant. When confronted with an unfamiliar situation, or when neglected by its human caregiver, Nao can become agitated. It will remember past experiences it interprets as positive or negative. … Read more
The follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy Spica has made its way online, and it looks a tad familiar. We first reported on the Samsung i5800 last month, referring to it as the Galaxy 3 phone. It appears we were only half right, as this phone looks to pick up the name of Galaxy Teos when it hits carriers around the globe.
A second version of the i5800 has also been spotted online bearing the name Galaxy Naos. It is said to be an Orange France exclusive when it arrives, presumably later this summer.
Sporting Android 2.1 with Samsung's … Read more
Nao the humanoid robot--who we first told you about in September--really, really wants us nerds to like him. Or, more accurately, Paris-based Aldebaran Robotics really wants us to like him. That's why the company has him pandering to us with a scene from "Star Wars."
Still, I have to admit that the 23-inch-tall, 9.5-pound Nao delivers a powerful performance--especially when it comes to his R2-D2 impression. Of course, that's kind of like Gary Busey playing a lunatic, but still...kudos. Outside of his skills as a thespian, the fully programmable Nao is also quite capable … Read more
Aldebaran Robotics is showcasing the skills of its pint-size humanoid robot Nao ahead of its planned mass market release in about a year.
Nao is definitely one of the coolest humanoids around that stands a chance of making it into households as a real product. Aldebaran envisions it as "an autonomous family companion."
Fully programmable, the 23-inch bot boasts 25 degrees of freedom, affording it an impressive range of motion. Check it out in Nao's new promo vid after the jump.
Nao can grasp objects with its prehensile hands; process image and sound data; and navigate its environment using its sonars. Multimedia features include high-fi speakers, microphones, and CMOS digital cameras.
The biped runs on an x86 AMD Geocode 500 MHz CPU, 256MB SDRAM, 2GB flash memory, and lithium polymer batteries that last about 90 minutes per charge.