Well I’ll be: a fancy robot that has nothing to do with Japan. It’s called Nao, and it was designed by a French company called Aldebaran Robotics; it was just on display in Valencia this past week. It’s one of those “helper robots” whose only goal is to help you out when you’re sick.
Nao, which was the big star of last week’s Campus Party, “can recognize voices and faces and be instructed to turn on a personal computer, read e-mails or an online newspaper as well as be used to stimulate sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease with memory exercises.”
The designer describes it as a “companion robot,” something that helps a person out with the menial, everyday tasks that can be a pain in the neck when you’re not 100 percent healthy.
It will be on sale, yes, sometime in 2011, for the cool price of between €3,000 and €3,500. Today that works out to about $4,300 to $5,000; in 2011, that could well around $75,000 given the weakness of the dollar.
No, I don’t know why the robot is dancing to Michael Johnson songs.