Mini Robot Pilot
By Mark McConville
COULD this be the next stage in artificial intelligence after a small robot was filmed piloting a drone?
The amusing video shows an Aldebaran Robotics Nao V5 asking its ‘papa’ if it can play with the drone.
The man agrees and the robot sets to its task but all does not go to plan as it proceeds to fly the drone far away out of sight.
The drone is eventually brought back but only after crashing into trees, causing minor damage.
The thrilling footage was shot in Duluth, Minnesota by local retired state trooper and freelance software developer Scott Blais (51).
“What you see in the video was all real,” he said.
“Nao the robot was really flying the drone. What I love especially about this video is that I really had no idea what was going to happen.
“I gave the robot what I thought were safe moves to keep the drone in my field of vision until things went totally wrong, twice!
“But in the end, we truly had a happy ending, minus some minor damage.”
Mr Blais admits it wasn’t a seamless flight but hopes it can provide a glimpse into what the future may hold.
“Did I learn a lesson from this?” he said.
“Yes! Letting a robot control another robot probably isn’t the greatest idea in the world, because after all we are supposed to be the ones in command of robots.
“But it’s possible that this little video gives us a glimpse of where robots might be going in the not too distant future.
“Some people ask is ‘everything pre-programmed, are his words scripted?’
“The answer is yes and no. His conversations and words come from a brilliant piece of software developed by Aldebaran called Dialog.
“He can talk about things he sees, choose his own phrase randomly etc. However, all this raw data is still all put in his software by me so he won’t say something totally unexpected, but there is a brain working in there.”