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Guy brushes his cat via Nao robot avatar

January 3, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
Nao_Telepresence_Robot.jpgJanuary 2, 2011 by Tim Hornyak via CNet.com -- Telepresence robotics applications continue to get curiouser and curiouser. For instance, how about grooming your cat via a humanoid robot avatar?

That's what Tokyo-based software engineer Taylor Veltrop did with a Nao robot from Aldebaran Robotics.

Veltrop devised an interesting control apparatus for Nao, a popular research robot known for its RoboCup soccer skills.

He wanted to manipulate Nao from a distance, so a treadmill and Kinect were used to navigate the bot, while a head-mounted display controlled Nao's head while showing its camera feeds. Veltrop could thus see through Nao's eyes.

A Wii remote and the Kinect were used to control Nao's arms, including the task of using a brush to groom a cat.

As seen in the vid below, it took patience and practice to get the job done, but Nao stands up, orients itself, takes a brush, and gets busy as Veltrop orchestrates its movements like a puppeteer.

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