In one of the more clever hardware hacks we've seen recently, software engineer Taylor Veltrop figured out how to control his Nao robot by combining a head-mounted display (HMD), Kinect, Wii remote, and a treadmill. With the HMD, Veltrop can see what the robot sees through the two built-in cameras, the treadmill and Kinect allow the robot to walk and turn, and the Kinect and Wii remote allow the robot's arm to move. In a video uploaded to his YouTube account, Veltop shows off the whole rig in a multi-view demonstration that combines a shot of him controlling the system from the viewpoint of the Kinect, the view from the robot's cameras (and what Veltrop sees through his HMD), and a wide view that shows the robot in motion.
Like any good YouTube video, this one features a cat — Veltrop successfully walks the robot over to his cat-holding partner and gives the animal a good brushing. While controlling the robot appears a bit challenging and its not most efficient way to brush a cat, it's a great example of what's possible with a Nao robot. The next step for this setup is adding speech and hearing, which Veltrop says shouldn't be difficult using the speakers and microphones in the Nao and HMD.