Nao is an autonomous, programmable humanoid robot developed by Aldebaran Robotics, a French startup company headquartered in Paris. The robot’s development began with the launch of Project Nao in 2004. On 15 August 2007, Nao replaced Sony’s robot dog Aibo as the robot used in the Robot Soccer World Cup (Robocup) Standard Platform League (SPL), an international robotics competition. The Nao was used in RoboCup 2008 and 2009, and the NaoV3R was chosen as the platform for the SPL at RoboCup 2010.
The Nao Academics Edition was developed for universities and laboratories for research and education purposes, and was made publicly available by 2011. In October 2010, the University of Tokyo purchased 30 Nao robots for their Nakamura Lab, with hopes of developing the robots into active lab assistants. Since 2011, the robot has entered use in numerous academic institutions worldwide, including India’s IIT Kanpur.
In the summer of 2010, Nao made global headlines with a synchronized dance routine at the Shanghai Expo in China. In December 2010, a Nao robot was demonstrated doing a stand-up comedy routine, and a new version of the robot was released, featuring sculpted arms and improved motors. In December 2011, Aldebaran Robotics released the Nao Next Gen, featuring enhanced software, a more powerful CPU and HD cameras.
[reference from wikipedia]
In our lab, the NAO is used for generating natural motions of humanoid robots based on 3D motion capture data of human movements.