Nao, the Astronaut’s Robotic Best Friend


r2d2 Nao could soon become a member of a space exploration crew. This humanoid robot will be used to pass the baton to rotating teams of astronauts. Provided with “autobiographical memory,” Nao can retain important gestures and information, and teach tasks to other humans.

The project is led by a team at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research. Scientists teach the robot how to physically interact with humans by manipulating its joints. Nao is then able to mimic the movements and store the memories of these actions so that it can reproduce them with new human partners.

Nao has potential outer space applications, for example aboard the ISS, where crews change every six months. For the moment, NASA’s Robonaut2 is the only permanent resident aboard the station. r2d2

About the Author

Journalist and the Editor-in-Chief for DirectIndustry e-magazine. She has years of experience in business issues for various media including France 24, Associated Press, Radio France…

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