For the past few years NAOs around the world have had to rely on humans to recharge them whenever they got low on juice. Pretty soon, however, they’ll be able to top themselves up whenever necessary thanks to the NEST (NAO Energy Station). NAO autonomously positions itself using visual markers with enough precision to line up to make the connection.
And because it is tethered to a power cord rather than a stationary dock (like this one used to recharge SONY’s AIBO), the robot can continue to move within a limited area. When it’s ready to leave the NEST it can unplug itself, and the cord automatically rewinds into place. No word just yet on how much the accessory will cost, but it doesn’t look too expensive. Check out the video demonstration from a beta tester day held this past weekend.
At least it didn’t take them quite as long as NEC, which last month finally demonstrated a self-charging station for their personal robot PaPeRo, more than a decade after they began its development (see here).
[source: NAOForge @ YouTube]