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RobotAppStore brings new behaviors to your robot

February 21, 2013

A new video shows a cool behavior you can download to your NAO robot from the RobotAppStore:

This is one of many apps available for a variety of robots from RobotAppStore, which strives to do for robots what Apple did for mobile phones.

I’ve been a bit skeptical of this idea in the past — not that it’s a bad idea, but just that robots today weren’t quite ready for it.  But I’m starting to warm up to the concept.  Something like the behavior shown above is quite a bit of work to write, and even if you have the skill, you probably won’t have time to implement all the cool ideas you have.  Being able to download and install something like this for a couple of bucks could be quite rewarding (to both the user and the developer).

RobotAppStore still has a lot of rough edges, though.  When I went to their website, and tried to search for “walk with me” or “NAO walk” or any similar combination, it utterly failed to find this app.  So I tried browsing for it, reducing my filter to show only apps for NAO (all versions).  That failed too, showing many pages of apps including all robots (lots of Pleo, Qbo, and Robosapien apps for example), as well as showing the same app multiple times on different pages.  I never did manage to find it that way, but in case you want it, here’s a direct link thanks to the YouTube video.

Since I clearly needed help, I was pleased to see the “Online – Click here to chat” box in the corner of every web page.  So I clicked it, and I chatted… and was greeted with the sound of chirping crickets.  (Actually, I got no response at all; chirping crickets would have been more cool.)  I waited several minutes and never did get a response.  Either nobody was online, despite the claim to the contrary, or their chat system is broken too.

So, now I think that our robots aren’t quite ready for a robust app market, and RobotAppStore isn’t quite ready to provide one.

But I do still like the idea.

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From → News, Opinion, Reviews, Videos

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