You remember the movie “iRobot?” It had Will Smith as a police officer living in a world where robots basically lived lives alongside humans. It also had a robot that was a total rebel and went completely independent from how it was programmed. The world has a long way until it gets to this level of AI, but this little robot here may actually be our first step toward this ridiculously-hard-to-actually-imagine-in-real-life reality.

Meet NAO Next Gen, from Aldebaran Robotics. This little guy seems kinda cute when you first see him, but then the story starts to get interesting. We learn that NAO has cameras built into his (her?) face, and is capable of facial recognition. The robot, as the video would like us to believe, identifies a man by name when he walks into the room. His eyes (and head) follow the man as he makes his way to his chair and sits down. We know NAO can identify him by name, because NAO can also speak.

Actually NAO speaks quite well.

The same nuance technology found in the new Siri feature on the iPhone 4S is also in NAO. It actually says “New” technology, so perhaps it’s even more advanced than Siri. What really separates NAO from Siri though, is that NAO can actually move. It can get up, stand straight. Walk around, drive a car, and do human like gestures and slow elderly drivers as it passes by. – Okay, well perhaps that last part was a bit exaggerated, but there is no doubt that this robot is just one of many progressions towards dangerous Artificial Intelligence.

The robot is also network-enabled, connecting to Ethernet or WiFi, as well as being capable of sending and receiving IR signals. Imagine hundreds of these little guys walking around… waiting to strike at a moments notice!

It may seem difficult to watch, for those of us who have seen what a robot that travels through time in the attempt to kill one person, only to kill thousands on his path to okay I’m getting ahead of myself… Just watch the video and try not to think about the future. I find that’s probably best in most cases when visiting YouTube.


The robot has a TON of sensors, pressure points, inertia detection, and its even got fluid motion when walking. When it falls, its arms sense that it’s falling, and move forward to brace the impact. Then it gets up and, with its Intel Atom 1.6GHZ processor, shakes it off, letting this petty, unsuspecting human know that it’s alright, and that a little fall such as that couldn’t possibly hurt his rugged exterior shell of metal. I don’t care if you do have a secret handshake… he’s NOT your friend!

Seriously guys, before it’s too late, and for the protection of the human race, we must stop this engineering brilliance at once! If we don’t, our kids are going to have to come back in time to do it later. You want your son to be the terminator?

… don’t answer that.

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