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NAO released to general public at half the price

March 18, 2014

We’ve posted before about the NAO robot, made by French company Aldebaran Robotics.  Yes, it’s a pretty advanced humanoid, standing up well even compared to most of those from Japan or Korea.  But I haven’t shown them a lot of love, because until now, they haven’t showning much love to robot hobbyists; the NAO was available only to educational institutions, and then with a price tag of $16,000.

All that just changed.

In a new video (below), Aldebaran and U.S. partner RobotsLab have announced that not only will the NAO robot be available to the general public, but they’re cutting the price in half.  You can pick one up for a cool $7,990 (plus $250 or more in shipping within the continental U.S. — unless you actually pick it up, in San Francisco).

Yes, that’s still pricey, but it’s no longer outrageously pricey — it’s in the same general ballpark as other high-end humanoids, such as the Kumotek KT-X ($5,500) or the Robotis DARwIn-OP Deluxe ($12,000).

Let’s talk specs:

  • Actuators: 25 (custom integrated servos designed for NAO)
  • Sensors: tactile, ultrasonic, gyro, force, IR, 2 HD cameras, 4 microphones
  • Main processor: Intel Atom 1.6Ghz with WiFi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet port
  • Auxiliary processor: ARM-9
  • Programming API: supports Java, C++, C#, Matlab, and Python out of the box.

That’s an advanced little robot.  The company warns, “Software development skills are required to be able to work with NAO,” but in fact it comes with a drag-and-drop programming environment called Choregraphe, and a complete simulator based on Cyberbotics Webots, so making NAO go looks to be remarkably easy.

Hats off to Aldebaran for making their very sophisticated little robot available to home users (even if it’s only the most dedicated or deep-pocketed home users).  I can’t wait to see all the cool things hobbyists will do with it!

From → News, Videos

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