Yes, that’s right, robots. Those creepy metal dudes that, if popular culture is to be believed, will one day either destroy us all or make us their slaves. Regardless, Aldebaran Robotics have disregarded these fears and created the NAO Next Gen robot.
This isn’t your ordinary robot. It isn’t there to make you laugh, or simply as an example of how far technology has now come. The robot has prehensile hands, four microphones, and dual cameras in its eyes which are capable of facial recognition.
What does it need these things for? It needs them to help autistic children understand things that they initially find hard or confusing; such as emotion recognition.
The robot can be spoken to and thanks to its inbuilt Nuance vocal recognition technology it can reply to most simple phrases and questions. You can even teach it how to perform ordinary tasks like catching a ball.
Due to the robot’s ‘raison d’être’ you can’t buy this straight off a shelf – it isn’t a toy. If you work in an area that you think the robot would be suitable for, or you yourself have an autistic child, you could get in touch with Alderban Robotics and talk to them about obtaining one.
Remember this isn’t a robot vacuum, or toy robot dog, this is a serious piece of equipment, so expect to see a rather large price tag attached to it.