The brainchild of five students from Bharath University, Nao has won the third place at an International robotics challenge.

Were you awestruck by Chitti Robot from the Tamil movie Endhiran? Or Atom from the movie Real Steel? Well, meet Nao.

Nao is a cutting-edge age humanoid robot which has won the third place in AUTCUP 2013 in Tehran, Iran. The brainchild of five-member students team comprising, Mohit Jaswal, Dileep M., G. Vijaykumar, Yukesh R. and Muzamil Ahamed Palayam, from Bharath University, near Chennai, Nao won in the Service Delivery League in the competition held at Amirkabir University in Iran from October 29 to November 1.

Mentored by Jaishankar Bharatharaja, this was the only team to be selected from India to compete in the finals. “We have done many projects earlier and the five of us came together for this one with a common interest,” says Mohit. All members of the team agree that their varied field of expertise helped them in enhancing the robot in a big way.

The humanoid robot (Nao) was staged in the “humanoid” and “service delivery league”. Each league consisted of its own challenges. Nao stole the show by impressing the judges with a dance act. “The service delivery league had challenges such as face detection, movement detection, carrying things from one point to another, and more,” explains Yukesh. “However, the best one was the last challenge in this league called the Open Challenge.

This round required that the robots from different teams perform something unique and different. And we made Nao dance,” says Dileep. Nao, housed at Bharath University since 2010, is a humanoid robot from the French company Aldebaran Robotics. “Aldebaran ensures that their robot will be properly utilized in a research platform, and only when they are convinced do they send the robot,” says Mohit. ” The company provided the hardware on which the students did some research and figured out the computing and internal processing for the robot.