Three years after it started selling its first NAO models, French Aldebaran Robotics has sold 2,000 robots worldwide and is now released its latest generation of programmable humanoid robots, intended for research, teaching and exploring the new area of service robotics.
Stemming from six years of research and dialogue with its community of researchers and users, its technology partners include austriamicrosystems for components, Canadian Cogmation Robotics developing specific software for NAO, Creapole the design, and management school and fourth year student in Paris, with DS Solid Works for the 3D mechanical platform and Gostai for the Urbi programming language
NAO Next Gen is capable of a higher level of interaction, thanks to increased computing power, improved stability and higher accuracy.One of the NAO Next Gen’s novel andremarkable features is being fitted with a new on-board computer, based on 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor suitable for multi-tasking calculations. It two HD cameras attached to a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) set-up that allows the simultaneous reception of two video streams, increasing speed and performance in face-and-object recognition, even under poor-lighting conditions.
NAO Next Gen has a new, faster and more reliable vocal-recognition programme called Nuance. Theprogramme is coupled with a new functionality known as ‘word spotting’, which is capable of isolating and recognising a specific word within a sentence or a conversation.
“On top of this new hardware version, we shall be delivering new software functionalities like smart torque control, a system to prevent limb/body collisions, an improved walking algorithm, and more.
"We have capitalised upon our experience and customer feedback in order to deliver the most suitable and efficient platform. In terms of applications especially at high-school level, we are focused on educational content, while, when it comes to improvements in personal well-being, we are working on developing specialised applications,” explains Maisonnier.
“We are also pursuing our goal to provide a NAO intended for individuals through the Developer Program— a community of programmers who are working with us today to invent tomorrow’s personal robotics,” adds Aldebaran Robotics chairman.