NAO Robot In Training As Personal Assistant (Video)

nao robot calendar

While some robot developers are striving to create humanoid soccer players that will outperform their carbon based inventors, or are trying to bring their childhood robot heros, like Gundam, to life, Carl Clement in the UK is taking a much more pragmatic and perhaps humanistic/social approach. He's enrolled his NAO robot in a training regimen to become his personal secretary and assistant.

Carl, one of the lucky few accepted into the Aldebaran NAO Developer Program, achieved a lot of success with his delightful robot teaching game earlier this year. In a previous video interview post he was kind enough to endure our endless series of questions and probing while sharing a lot of his invaluable experience, know-how, and insights.

Now he's taking NAO to the next level. The initial 'proof of concept' stage was to utilize the NAO Choregraphe behavior based software to access Google services, like his calendar. Carl explains his basic approach this way:

"The Google gData API provides a python based SDK. With some minimal modification, it was possible to load this SDK into a Choregraphe behaviour. Choregraphe being the graphical development tool provided by Aldebaran Robotics for Nao. Once loaded you can import the Google API modules into the python control scripts used in Choregraphe behaviours. This allows access to the data in a number of Google services via Nao's inbuilt wifi internet access, providing access to things such as calendar appointments."

Slowly, step by step, he plans on extending and fine tuning the functionality while he expands it to include other Google services including Google Docs.

Keeping in mind that this first test was only intended to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept, here's Carl's NAO robot reading the Google calendar entries:

For a first attempt, it's quite promising. Who knows where all of this may lead? It will be interesting to watch and find out.

(Via AltView - Nao Reads Appointments From a Google Calendar.)

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3 comments

  1. He put in some work and turned a $20,000 robot into a $200 one. I feel bad tearing into a robotics project, but if I’m honest this is a crap demonstration of Nao, which is potentially an amazing robot. Perhaps we would be better off if he put his effort into donating his robot to a disadvantaged child somewhere with some programming ability and imagination.

    • Lem Fugitt

      Zac – It was pointed out in the post, and on the linked article on Carl’s blog, that this was only the initial proof of concept test. He will be expanding and improving the project.

      • Right, I saw that. If only I had a nickel for every project that was waiting to be expanded and improved. My point is that it is hardly a robotics project, and in the sense that it is, it is hardly an inspired use of the Nao platform.

        He interfaced a computer with a Google API. There is no need to do that as a proof of concept and Youtube the result. People do it every day and don’t waste the time editing a video and writing a blog post about their accomplishment. This guy is more interested in letting people know he is working on Nao than actually working on Nao.

        I’ll just file this under trophy generation/premature braggadocio.

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