And now for something completely different: Here’s a video of a robot brushing a cat
The bot, a Nao model hacked by clever software developer Taylor Veltrop , is controlled with a Nintendo Wiimote, a Microsoft Kinect, a head-mounted display and a treadmill. The setup is perfect for that special someone in your life who loves animals but is constantly stymied by crippling pet dander allergies.
Veltrop’s video shows three views: his, the view from the Kinect and the view of a third party watching the cat/bot exchange. We’ve had a Nao bot in our offices before, and these guys are adorable and quite hackable, too. In the recent past, Veltrop has hacked his non-Nao “Veltrobot” + Kinect setup to do pushups and wield a knife.
Nao robots were designed by Aldebaran Robotics, a French company. Each Nao unit costs around $15,000 and is just shy of two feet tall at 57 centimeters. The bots walk upright and have toddler-like ranges of motion. But being outfitted with an array of sensors, the Nao-bot can navigate a room, track objects and respond to people and faces.