Robots Podcast has posted an episode covering Aldebaran Robotics, the creators of the NAO humanoid robot. NAO’s development continues; one feature they’re working on is giving NAO the ability to sync dramatic reenactments of a storybook as the book is being read. They also talk about the future of the robotics market, including plans to build a full-sized (150cm tall, 45kg) humanoid service robot that could care for the elderly or disabled.
Currently under development under the banner Project Romeo, the 10M Euro project should have its first prototype completed by the end of 2010. By fall of 2011, a 2nd prototype will be tested among patients at the Vision Institute. Aldebaran Robotics says it will use the technology developed in this endeavor to build a commercial model which could be available as soon as 2015, while admitting that the challenge of expanding the robot services market is a constant struggle.
Given the millions that Honda has poured into its own R&D, I doubt Aldebaran Robotics will meet its goal of marketing Romeo in the foreseeable future, but it’s good to have goals, and I look forward to seeing their prototypes in action. Do hit the source link and give the podcast a listen!