Aldebaran to create all-terrain disaster relief robots, make a hero of Nao?

We've seen Nao bust a move and play a little footy, and now its creator is making plans to take its bots off-roading in the name of disaster relief. Aldebaran robotics recently announced its intention to invest in and develop a range of robots that can traverse rocky roads to help in hazardous situations, citing the tsunami in Japan as a catalyst for the move. The company's yet to state how it will make this happen, but says it's already made contributions to Cap Robotique, the "French cluster dedicated to the development and innovation in the field of service robotics." If you ask us, we're all for Nao gettin' a little dirt under its nails, as long as it can still serve Fosse. Full PR after the break.

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ALDEBARAN Robotics to develop all-terrain robots to assist in
hazardous situations

(March 18, 2011 – Paris) While the benefit from robots assisting
humans in hazardous situations, such as following the recent tsunami
in Japan, is widely recognized and sought after, the few solutions
which do exist are very limited. It is for this reason that ALDEBARAN
Robotics has decided to develop and invest in a range of robots able
to intervene in hazardous situations.

"At this moment there is a veritable need for robots for our Japanese
partners. ALDEBARAN Robotics is the world leader in humanoid robots
which are able to walk; however we are unable to help. Our robots are
designed for research, education and personal assistance and not made
for such difficult situations. Following recent events I have decided
to immediately invest in the development of all-terrain walking robots
able to assist in these types of situations," said Bruno Maisonnier,
CEO and founder of ALDEBARAN Robotics.

The robotics industry continues to grow due to technology advances,
mecatronics, man-machine interaction, artificial intelligence,
geolocalization – all of which is leading to new applications for
robots and paving the way for an important market for personal
assistant robots.

ALDEBARAN Robotics is the inventor of NAO, a 58cm humanoid robot with
the ability to see, hear, speak and communicate not only with its user
but other NAO robots. Today more than 1,300 NAO robots are used in 40
countries across the world as a platform for research and education in
order to explore new applications such as a treatment for autistic
children or as a pedagogic tool for teachers. Currently, a second
humanoid robot, ROMEO, with a height of 1 meter 40 centimeters is
being finalized.

"Robots for the well-being of humans is the mission of ALDEBARAN
Robotics and the need for this type of robot requires the expertise of
many actors. We have thus contributed to the creation of Cap
Robotique, THE French cluster dedicated to the development and
innovation in the field of service robotics, a market which represents
$3.3B in 2010 and we will be very present at the upcoming InnoRobo
exhibition in Lyon, France from March 23-25, 2011," he added.