26 June 2010

Amazing Dance of Nao by Aldebaran Robotics (video)

You may have heard of Nao - he is the robotic creation of European company Aldebaran.  This, though, is simply brilliant.  The company, founded by Bruno Maisonnier who has had a dream for over twenty five years that robotics could become an everyday reality, is currently marketing their Nao robot like crazy - and you can see why here.

Perhaps we are one step closer with Nao, who we see here performing en masse in the French Pavillion at the Shanghai Expo, to realising the dream of robots in our lives.We may not be in the full realm of Spielbergian Artifical Intelligence but certainly a few steps closer thanks to Nao and his dancing feet.

Nao possesses four microphones which fitted into his head and a voice recognition and analysis system. You can supplement the words he already knows with words and expressions you want to add. These words can trigger any behaviour you choose. He has full bluetooth capacity and you can send him your music to play back to you later!

He can also read out any files that you store on (in?) him which can even be from an RSS flow so you can catch up with your favorite blogger (cough, cough!) through him.  He has speakers on either side of his head and he can even be configured to allow for voice alterations. Nao is also capable of detecting the source of a sound or voice to deal with that source and start interacting.

This is worth watching to the end just to see the really cute way he bows.