Aldebaran Robotics, a leader in humanoid robotics, has released its latest version of the NAO robot - NAO Next Gen.
"With NAO Next Gen coming of age, we shall be able to make it serve organizations that care for autistic children and those losing their autonomy. I created Aldebaran Robotics in 2005 with this aim: to contribute to humankind's well-being," states Bruno Maisonnier, Founder and Chairman of Aldebaran Robotics.
Three years after it started selling its first NAO models, the company has sold 2,000 robots worldwide. Aldebaran Robotics has now released the latest generation of its programmable humanoid robots, which is intended for research, teaching and, more generally, for exploring the new area of service robotics.
Stemming from six years of research and dialogue with its community of researchers and users, NAO Next Gen is capable of a higher level of interaction, thanks to increased computing power, improved stability and higher accuracy. Therefore, the latest version of the NAO robot widens considerably the range of research, teaching and application possibilities made available to specific user groups.
One of the NAO Next Gen's novel and most remarkable features is the fact that it is fitted with a new on-board computer, based on the powerful 1.6GHz Intel® Atom processor, which is suitable for multi-tasking calculations. It also has two HD cameras that are attached to a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). This set-up allows the simultaneous reception of two video streams, significantly increasing speed and performance in face-and-object recognition, even under poor-lighting conditions.
Along with its innovative hardware features, NAO Next Gen boasts a new, faster, and more reliable vocal-recognition program called Nuance. This program is coupled with a new functionality known as “word spotting,” which is capable of isolating and recognizing 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. 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 specialized 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 the chairman of Aldebaran Robotics.