I have to admit that when I attended the University of Tokyo/Aldebaran Robotics press conference a while back I was pretty skeptical. Bringing French humanoid robots to Japan, especially introducing them into one of the leading Japanese research organizations, was a little like "carrying coals to Newcastle." What would the Japanese do with the cute NAO robots that they couldn't do with domestic humanoids?
It turns out, as you can see from the video below, I didn't have to worry. Researchers at the JSK Lab have been able to accomplish some truly amazing work, including somethings that are totally beyond my limited imagination.
The Aldebaran NAO and ROMEO humanoid robots were featured on television, including interviews with some of the key Aldebaran management team.
For those already familiar with the NAO robot, the program doesn't really present anything new or exciting. It does, however, include some good close-up views of ROMEO - the company's life-sized/person-sized humanoid development project.
Project Romeo, driven primarily by Aldebaran Robotics with support from a host of other companies and organizations, released the first public video featuring the full sized humanoid robot greeting the world in much the same fashion as an initial computer program would say "Hello World!".
’Romeo Robot Awakes (Video)’ continues
Any fan or owner of the Nao humanoid robot from Aldebaran Robotics is going to absolutely want a wall poster or t-shirt with Dave Snowdon's "Alas poor Nao, I knew him well" image. I know I do.
Heather Knight and her NAO robot Data were interviewed on CNN. Knight talks about how she creates the performances, especially incorporating real-time audience feedback and interaction, as well as the hotly discussed topic of the robot singularity.
A couple days ago I blogged a photo of Data The Robot doing stand-up comedy routines at the Lincoln Center. Data's owner/operator/muse is non-other than Heather Knight, a.k.a. "Marilyn Monrobot". Heather modestly describes herself as a "Social Roboticist" but her talents go way beyond that humble title. She's pursuing her doctoral research at CMU in Pittsburgh, doing applications design with Aldebaran Robotics, creating interactive installations, while somehow finding the time to put on engaging and entertaining robot and technology gigs that artfully combine traditionally cold/sharp/hard technology with soft/feeling/emotional art and creativity.
Check out Data The Robot, and Heather, in the video below recorded live at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City earlier this summer.