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New generation of humanoid robots

07 February 2012

Aldebaran Robotics has released the latest version of its NAO robot — NAO Next Gen – a fully programmable humanoid robot that is said to be opening up new perspectives and fields of application for its users.

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.

The new unit is fitted with an on-board computer, based on the 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, which is suitable for multi-tasking calculations. It also has two HD cameras attached to a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) which allows the simultaneous reception of two video streams, increasing speed and performance in face-and-object recognition, even under poor-lighting conditions.

The new robot also boasts a new, faster and more reliable vocal-recognition programme called Nuance, which 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,” said Bruno Maisonnier, chairman of Aldebaran Robotics.

“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.”

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