I had the great opportunity to meet many of the Aldebaran NAO Robot Development Program participants in Paris last weekend when I was asked to be on the jury rating all of the projects they submitted during the codathon. The work that they're doing is innovative and often surprising, so it would be hard to single out anyone's project as being outstanding or extremely unique. Nevertheless, there were some projects that I want to talk about in upcoming posts because I feel they may interest and hopefully inspire my readers.
A good example is "Play With Red Ball", the Spring 2012 NAO Developer Days project developed by Franck Calzada. The concept seems simple enough - just have your humanoid robot bend over, reach out with its hand, and pickup a red ball. However, in the real world that sequence that you and I as human beings take for granted, is extremely complex.
’NAO Robot Wizards: Franck Calzada’ continues
I'm happy to announce that King Kizer, the awesome ROBO-ONE Champion robot created by Nao Maru, has signed up as part of the Robot Japan team for their 2012 U.S. Tour with an exclusive engagement at RoboGames, April 20th-22nd in San Mateo, California.
King Kizer took humanoid robot competition to a totally new level and inspired Japanese robot builders to ramp up their humanoid bots while accomplishing feats of speed, agility, and flexibility that was thought by experts to be impossible just a few years ago. As impressive as it seems, the video below can't begin to communicate how compellingly powerful, fast, and responsive King Kizer is in the ring.
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.