Friday, October 27, 2017

Oh, Patents! Nao

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Developed by Softbank Robotiks, in partnership with the French Center for Integrated Robotics - Criif (Centre de Robotique Intégré de l’Ile-de-France – Bureau d’étude robotique sur mesure et objets connectés), Nao is one of three well known French robots. The Softbank Robotiks troika includes Nao, Pepper and Romeo.

Nao is a short little humanoid companion robot (about 2 feet tall), which means that the little robot has a body designed to resemble a human. In particular, Nao displays  25% humanoid range of motion. Nao is also equipped with speech recognition for 20 languages. Nao is connected to the Internet, via wi-fi or ethernet, which means that it is also customizable on your computer, with downloadable Nao designed apps, using Softbank Robotics' own NAOqi OS platform with Choréographe C that supports SDK Python, C++, Java and Java Script languages for programming and animation.

Use of Nao in the classroom comes with a curriculum, developed by teachers for teachers (e,g,; STEMRobotics). Special education programs have also already been developed for autistic children by Autistes Without Borders in France.

The US design patent USD774148S1 titled Humanoid Robot was filed by Softbank Robotiks on Sept. 1, 2015, and awarded on Dec. 13, 2016 to Robert Hong.

As a reminder a US design patent is different from a US utility patent in that:
“a “utility patent” protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101), while a "design patent" protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171)” (USPTO) 

One of the patent drawings is included above, and a video is included showing NAO R&D for a new docking station, at Aldebaran, a Softbank Robotics company, 

CRIIF - Centre de Robotique Intégré de l’Ile-de-France – Bureau d’étude robotique sur mesure et objets connectés
Softbank Robotikks
Autistes sans frontières
Stem Robotics

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