Prof. Nakamura & Aldebaran Robotics CEO Bruno Maisonnier
Tokyo University’s Nakamura Lab (the same lab that previously built the fighting humanoids UT-mu Mighty and UT-mu2 Magnum) have joined Aldebaran Robotics’ “Educational Partnership Program”. The lab will work begin working with 30 NAOs this winter (price was not disclosed, but it’s likely they received a discount or had extra funding). Part of the research uses the Japanese open-source speech recognition software JULIUS. In early 2011 Aldebaran Robotics hopes to market a Japanese-language version of NAO, and Nakamura Lab may also work with the forthcoming 1.2 ~ 1.5 meter tall Project Romeo. The larger robot will balance dynamically rather than with ZMP control, and help people up if they fall. They hope, with custom actuators, it will weigh around 30kg. They hope to have a working humanoid helper within 4 or 5 years, with insurance companies footing the bill for potential users.
More videos of the demonstrations can be found at the source links below. Prof. Yoshihiko Nakamura has also updated his blog (in English), in which he discusses the NAO programming seminar. You can even “participate” in the seminar via several Ustream links.