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nao The Gift of Bot

Nao, $16,000

OK, you and I are not likely to see a $16,000 robot beneath our Christmas tree, but if I could own any mini humanoid, it would likely be the Nao (pronounced “Now,” BTW). This is the bot currently used in RoboCup soccer and in social robotics/autism research.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.

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