Observed: Do Androids Dance Like Electric Sheep?

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Here at Johnny, we’re bringing you bite-sized observations of all things interaction-y. This week, we’ve spied some robots ….

While I don’t see us bowing to the robot overlords after the Skynet uprising just yet, the latest from Aldebaran Robotics is impressive to say the least.

Stated to be permanently evolving, Nao robots measure just two feet tall and are packed with sensors, servos, and gadgets making them physical artifacts not to be taken lightly. Compounded with graceful motions and some emotional responses the Nao is a formidable opponent for the Furby pets that plagued us back in 1998. Aldebaran promotes their technology primarily for educational purposes sporting an easy to use and visual programming language for all but the most complex of tasks. While the educational applications are intriguing, the industrial or healthcare applications are endless. Imagine a child sized robot engaging with an autistic child or socializing with contagious patients? What if this simple machine could navigate wreckage and comfort survivors until help arrives? The opportunities are endless and development has barely scratched the surface. The clip from the Nao Robot Show says all I need to welcome the Centurion army with open arms though.

David Farkas

David is an interaction(s) designer working in the online and mobile realm. He focuses on the relation between the digital and the physical. Usability, goal oriented design, and consistency are key.

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