The NAO robot demonstrated its footballing prowess at RoboCup 2011where it was the model selected for the standard platform league. Its manufacturer, the French company Aldebaran, announced the forthcoming 4th generation model during the event and it is now available for pre-order, although not due to ship until the Fall.
Onboard bluetooth and a new embedded 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor to enable more onboard processing, are two hardware enhancements that will make the the NAO more capable of autonomous behavior. It will also benefit from a new vision system with dual HD cameras and a dedicated video processor so that both cameras can be used simultaneously.
On the software front, NAO V4 will incorporate a new voice recognition algorithm, developed by Nuance. As well as being faster and more reliable, its word-spotting capabilities permit the robot to isolate and recognize a defined word in a sentence or in a conversation.
Other new software features referred to by Aldebaran's CEO Bruno Maisonnier include a smart stiffness control, to reduce further overheating risks, an anti-self-collision system, an improved walk algorithm that is easier to customize and a NAO resource manager. He also repeated his intention to "very soon" open-source a significant part of the NAO platform's code in response to the demands of the user community.
Aldebaran to open source Nao robot
RoboCup 2011 underway
via: Robot Dreams