The Nao Humanoid Robot – The Robot That Can React To Sound And Vision

robotAlthough the Nao humanoid robot may not look like much, what the little fella lacks in size he more than makes up for it in capabilities and features.  You may have heard of the Nao robot, which gadget and technology industry insiders have been raving about for years.  All this interest and excitement is with very good reason as the Nao robot can recognize speech and touch and react accordingly.

The robot sees the surrounding world thanks to the 2 CMOS 640 by 480 video cameras, which has the ability to capture around 30 images every second.  There is one camera on its forehead which is aimed at the robots eye line, while the other camera is fitted near to its mouth so that it can scan and observe areas and things in front of it.

However the cameras are on Nao for more than just making movies and taking photos, the cameras help the robot to interpret the surrounding area with the help of algorithms programmed into the computer inside Nao.  These detect shapes and faces which mean it can, amongst other things, find objects from simple things such as balls to more complex items and can recognize someone who is talking to them and walk towards them.

The Nao robot is also fitted with a capacitive sensor on top of its head which has cleverly been segmented into 3 different sections, allowing it to reach in the most appropriate ways to touch.  If you want to turn off the robot, you simply tap the sensor once, but you can also use it as a series of buttons to register a specific action.  The robot’s system features LED lights that light up to indicate the particular contact that has been made and Nao’s creators – Aldebaran Robotics – have stated that is possible to program the robot to understand and follow complex and intricate sequences.

There are several ways that the Nao robot can communicate, whether it is by using the infrared receivers/senders inside his eyes that he uses to connect with objects around him that act like a remote control; or by logging onto your local network through your Wi-Fi connection so that you can pilot Nao using your computer, tablet or even mobile phone.  While on your local network it can actually browse the internet and interact accordingly with most websites, sending or receiving date from them.

While one Nao robot on its own might be incredibly interesting, it is nothing compared to what is possible when you have 2 Naos together in the same room.  The robots have been designed so that they can interact with other Naos.  When 2 are together they trick each other, joke and chat with each other and even will perform synchronized dance choreography.  Although this may seem very cute, it actually shows the capabilities of using more than one robot to complete complicated tasks such as geographic positioning and other similar things.


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