While Google’s self driving car is the obvious way to remove the human driver from the equation there is a far cooler way to do it, teach a humanoid robot to drive a normal car like we do. The Nao robot has this week learned to do just that, driving a little mini BMW Z4 around, avoiding obstacles and reversing like a champ.
The Nao may be cheating just a little bit in this tech demonstration, an Arduino board and laser sensor are helping him with obstacle avoidance and steering. Still the setup is designed as an educational tool to get kids programming, so it’s probably better to leave some work for them to do.
The Nao robot is bringing robots programming to an entirely new generation of techies. As Nao demonstrates robotics mechanical technology is well developed but when it comes to humanoid robots the software needs to do a little catching up. We now need to teach robots how to do everything we take for granted.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is the coolest self driving car in the world, Google has sort of just been out done by an $8,000 off the shelf robot and some code monkey kids. All Nao needs now is a destination.