By >Daimaou - G.G-B
The Future is NAO (Now). Kinect Controlled NAO Robot and Aldebaran’s Prototype charging station
This weekend I had the chance and opportunity to attend Aldebaran’s developer program meet-up in Tokyo and to check in the “Flesh” their awesome robot NAO.
If you are a bit curious about Robotics I am sure that you have already heard about Aldebaran’s robot NAO, if not let’s say that NAO is what we were all hoping for with Sony’s QRIO that unfortunately never came.
Still at the prototype stage, NAO is not yet available for the rest of us, but Aldebaran is hoping to release their first batch of NAO Robots to the general public within two to three years at the earliest.
Now, what so special about Aldebaran (a French company) and NAO is the company’s approach to development, where after many years of internal testing, they decided to give to anyone (almost) the possibility to work and develop application/behaviors for NAO as well as giving the possibility for developers to share their work and even sale them if necessary.
Opened just two month ago, Aldebaran Developer Program is already a huge success and gathers some pretty amazing and talented developers, PhDs and researchers located either in Europe, North America, South Korea and Japan.
During this very interesting event, I had the chance however to stumble upon two very interesting things and demos, including a prototype charging station and a Kinect controlled NAO.
Demoed as a Prototype and only available to developers so far, Aldebaran show a possible Charging station for NAO, where this little buddy, will be capable to locate the charging station alone and initiate both its charging mode alone as well as being capable to sever the charging connection by itself (See Video Above), making NAO completely independent and autonomous.
Another amazing demo (Video Below) that was held during this event came from the work of Taylor VELTROP that not only hacked NAO by adding a pair of additional USB port in our Robot’s head but also used both Microsoft Kinect and Nintendo’s Wiimote to teleoperate NAO. Simply put think of it as a Master/Slave relationship where NAO will mimic each of your movement like grabbing things, moving your arms and even walking for your and this even if you are located (in theory and with Speedy Wireless connection) thousands of miles away from NAO.
Still in the prototype phase, and with just a few months behind him, Taylor VELTRON has still many things to cleanup before having a smooth and controllable NAO, but rest assures its tech will soon reach perfection.
Bottom Line, NAO is an AMAZING little robot and can’t wait to get one, add to this a passionate in house team working on making NAO better and really brilliant people joining Aldebaran Developer Program, I can assure your that NAO’s future is going to be awesome! And if you are up to the challenge make sure to visit Aldebaran’s Developer Program website!