A Look At The Nao Humanoid Robot

It is fair to say that the Nao Humanoid Robot may not look like very much at all, what this little chap lacks in stature and size; he makes up for in features and abilities.  It is possible you have heard about the Nao already, as it is a robot that tech and gadget experts have been lauding over for years.  The excitement surrounding Nao is with good reason as he can recognise and react to touch and speech.The robot is able to visualise the world by using his two on-board CMOS 640 x 480 cameras, which capture 30 images per second.  One camera is located on the robot’s forehead which is aimed towards its eye-line, while the second camera is installed close to its mouth to enable it to observe and scan things and areas in front of him.

The cameras do not just take pictures and make movies however, as they are what enables Nao with the help of pre-installed algorithms, to understand the area around him.  These algorithms detect faces and shapes which means that Nao can not only find objects and other simple tasks, but can also recognise when someone speaks to him and follow the voice to walk towards that person.

In addition to the cameras and algorithms, Nao has also been fitted on the top of his head with a capacitive sensor that has been segmented into 3 unique sections.  This enables Nao to reach out in the most appropriate ways to touch.  For instance, if you wish to turn off Nao, you tap the sensor once.  You can also use it though to register a specific action by using the sensor like a button.  The LED lights on the robot light up in a particular order to show the type of contact that has been made and the team behind Nao, Aldebran Robotics, have suggested Nao can be programmed to recognise and follow very intricate and complicated sequences.

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