NAO: Robots Are Getting Better At Everything

By: Chris Crum - January 22, 2012

We continue to see incredible advancements in robots. Thanks to the Internet, these are on display for the world to see in ways not possible in the past.

Aldebaran Robotics has a new video out for its NAO robot showing off what it can do:

Here are some of the key features, as the company has diagrammed:

Nao features

The company explains the robot’s motion:

NAO’s walking uses a simple dynamic model (linear inverse pendulum) and quadratic programming. It is stabilized using feedback from joint sensors. This makes walking robust and resistant to small disturbances, and torso oscillations in the frontal and lateral planes are absorbed. NAO can walk on a variety of floor surfaces, such as carpeted, tiled, and wooden floors. NAO can transition between these surfaces while walking.

NAO’s motion module is based on generalized inverse kinematics, which handles Cartesian coordinates, joint control, balance, redundancy, and task priority. This means that when asking NAO to extend its arm, it bends over because its arms and leg joints are taken into account. NAO will stop its movement to maintain balance.

The Fall Manager protects NAO when it falls. Its main function is to detect when NAO’s center of mass (CoM) shifts outside the support polygon. The support polygon is determined by the position of the foot or feet in contact with the ground. When a fall is detected, all motion tasks are killed and, depending on the direction, NAO’s arms assume protective positioning, the CoM is lowered, and robot stiffness is reduced to zero.

We may be getting closer to the nightmarish robot future depicted below:

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • http://Noneofyourbusiness DAN LEWIS

    WHAT the BEEP does ‘NAO’ stand for?
    Have you no Journalistic training or knowledge at all? If not, why are you writing at all??

    ALL initials and acronyms should be well and fully identified the first time they are used in the message. What’s wrong with you? Wake up.

    Do it right, or DON’T DO IT. Sheesh!
    You want credit for your writing – You must also accept the discredit for it too.
    Time to grow up now.

    • Chris

      It’s pronounced “now”.

    • Masamundane

      Nice little bit of trolling there, giving you credit at all. If you weren’t trolling, well, maybe you’re the one who needs to do your research. Nao is not an acronym, it’s a name. The robot’s name is Nao. It stands for nothing.

    • B-Slap

      Nao is a common name in Japan. I’ve seen it short for Naoyuki, but it could be short for something else as well. As Dan mentions, it doesn’t appear to be an acronym, though it could be an inside joke to the development team. You are so put out by such a small detail. Or you are a troll. In either case, you haven’t improved the world in any way with your comment.