OK, so I met a little robot and I became obsessed with it and I am not talking about BB-8, which is another story.
The robot I am talking about is named NAO. We met during the <Hour of Code> event in an elementary school in Mahtomedi, Minnesota, USA.
I participated in the event to help little kids get involved with programming (using another awesome robot named Dash, programable with iPads - I will write another post about Dash), but then I saw this cute, blue & white swaying creature on the table and I was hooked.
I was mesmerized by NAO's persona and was impressed by what he can do and how he can help kids get motivated to explore technology. A high school student introduced me to NAO and I ended up spending the whole evening, first learning about him (studying documentation on my iPhone) and then sharing what I learned with all the kids.
Technology in general has always fascinated me. Ever since a little kid, I have always been interested in science fiction, then Star Wars came and changed the way we relate to technology, at least for the ones who were forever changed by seeing C3PO and that little R2 unit (who guards my office at all times). The promise of what these droids had shown, the relationship between the humans using them and the droids was what was really fascinating and utterly unbelievable then.
When I saw NAO for the first time, I almost fell like seeing R2D2 for the first time - "the feisty little one". NAO has a personality, I loved and connected with immediately. I am a 45 year old man, but I was as fixated on NAO as all the kids there.
It was as if there was a light going off in all directions around me.. I was thinking: "I want to learn everything about NAO's makers and try to spend more time with NAO!"
So, I did my research and then learned about NAO and also about Pepper and Romeo. What Aldebaran Robotics is doing is revolutionary! Those of us who love science fiction are aware of movies and books depicting robots uprisings, but also describing life with them. The thing is, folks at Aldebaran are already making it a reality!
You can find out more about this amazing company here: Aldebaran Robotics
UPDATE: look who I ran into at Mall OF America the other day! It was Pepper!!