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Aldebaran Robotics seeking beta-testers for its Nao humanoid robot

The French robotics company is inviting robot enthusiasts in France and the UK to try Nao -- for a fee

2 min read
Aldebaran Robotics seeking beta-testers for its Nao humanoid robot


Image: Aldebaran Robotics

The French robotics company Aldebaran Robotics, which introduced its Nao humanoid last year, is conducting a beta-test for people interested in helping improve the robot.

Looks like a great opportunity for robo-loving people but there are a few things to note. First, the trial is open only to individuals living in France and the UK. The other thing: beta-testers have to pay. And it's not cheap: 4800 euros for two robots. (At least taxes are included! :)

From their site:

As a beta-tester, you will really be at core of Nao’s adventure. Your experience, your feedbacks, your suggestions and your requests will be the inputs enabling us to improve Nao. We will build a special and close relationship with every beta-tester : you will be invited to exclusive events ; you will be the firtst to know the latest developments on Nao ; you will have access to a dedicated forum to share with us and the other beta-testers ; you will be involved in challenges (not only for advanced programmers) and show us your creativity and skills. You will help us make Nao!

Now, here are the details of the beta-test:  
- it is open for individual customers living in France or UK only 
- it is priced at 4800€, all taxes included 
- for the price, you'll get 2 NAOs: a first one to be beta-tested and, as a gift for your participation and help, a second one as soon as we release the product to the general public 
- the Nao's version to be beta-tested is called "V3+" - this is the most advanced Nao we have ever designed 
- the package also includes all necessary documentation and software, including ChoregrapheC.
- moreover, if we feel an upgrade of your beta-tested Nao is necessary, we will do it and won't charge you for this

To participate, go to this page, download the application form and email them -- deadline is 9 June 2009.

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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