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Kinect and Wiimote-enabled Nao robot pets a cat

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Software engineer Taylor Veltrop figured out how to control his Nao robot by combining a Kinect, Wii remote, treadmill, and head-mounted display.

Nao Robot Avatar
Nao Robot Avatar

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.