NAO Robot

Teaching the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum with a NAO humanoid robot

This post has been created to show you a series of examples of how a NAO humanoid robot and its programming software, ‘Choréographe’, can be used to teach elements of the new Digital Technologies curriculum at each level.

Foundation to Year 2

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004).

 Example with NAO:

Students could program a NAO robot to introduce itself to their class. Students could program the following sequence using the drag-and-drop interface in ‘Choréographe’ and then have the robot perform the sequence.

Above:   Drag-and-drop programming with NAO’s software ‘Choréograpghe’ which features a virtual robot that allows students to test their programs without a physical robot. Choréographe can also use ‘Python' code. 

Above: Drag-and-drop programming with NAO’s software ‘Choréograpghe’ which features a virtual robot that allows students to test their programs without a physical robot. Choréographe can also use ‘Python' code. 

First NAO is programmed to stand up, then NAO waves to the class, and finally NAO will say: “hello my name is NAO and I am a humanoid robot”

Years 3 - 4

Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them [ACTDIP010].

Example with NAO: 

Jane needs to find out the favourite colours of her fellow students. Jane can program NAO in the following way to survey her class.  

NAO will first ask: “what is your favorite colour”? Then a speech recognition box is activated. If the robot hears “Red” it will respond, “Me too”! If the robot hears "Blue", it will reply, “I don’t mind Blue” and if the robot hears "Yellow", it will respond “Eww I don’t like Yellow very much”.

Jane can create a table to record the results of her survey.

Years 5 - 6

Design, modify and follow simple algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) [ACTDIP019].

Example with NAO:

Susan has designed a math quiz game using a NAO robot. 

Susan has programmed the robot to ask a series of Math questions and then listen for answers. When the robot hears a correct answer it will take a step forward and when it hears an incorrect answer it will take a step backwards. Correct answers will prompt the robot to move onto a new question whereas incorrect answers will prompt the robot to repeat a question. This exercise covers sequencing, branching, and iteration (repetition).

Years 7 - 8

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English; and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors [ACTDIP029].

Example with NAO:

Students can design an algorithm to solve a maze using a NAO robot.

Provided that the maze is ‘simply connected’ – meaning that all of the walls are connected together or to the boundary of the maze - the ‘right-hand-rule’ can be used to solve the maze.

Accordingly, the following three 'right-hand-rules' can be used:

1.      If a wall is NOT detected to the right, turn 90 degrees right and then walk forward

2.      If a wall is detected to the right, but no wall is detected in front, walk forward

3.      If a wall is detected to the right and a wall is detected in front, then turn 90 degree to the left

Students can use python code within Choréographe to express this algorithm:

Once the student has designed their algorithm they can upload it to a NAO robot and place the robot within a maze for testing. 

Brainary Interactive Choregrape NAO 5.png

Years 9 - 10

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured English and validate algorithms and programs through tracing and test cases [ACTDIP040].

Example with NAO:

Students can design an algorithm to take coffee orders.

Firstly the robot is programmed to ask, ‘would you like a coffee?’ If the respondent answers ‘no’, the robot replies, ‘no worries’. If the respondent answers ‘yes’, the robot will then ask, ‘would you like sugar?’

If the respondent answers ‘no’, the robot will respond, ‘okay thank you for your order’.

If the respondent answers ‘yes’, the robot then asks, ‘how many sugars would you like?’ then the robot will say, ‘okay thank you for your order’. 

'Robots for Everyone' – a first for Australian Public Libraries

NAO robot at Noosa Library

Noosa Library Service has become the first Australian public library to recruit a ‘NAO’ (pronounced ‘now') humanoid robot, which they have named ‘Dewey’. The fully-programmable robot’s mission is to provide fun and practical robotics and computer programming training for adults and young people. ‘Dewey’ assists the Noosa Library Service by presenting robotic demonstrations, programming workshops, cyber safety eSmart messages, storytelling and special appearances at all 3 branches of the Library Service. 

The library’s program, 'Robots for Everyone’, introduces the community to robots in a fun-filled, non-threatening environment; hopefully enticing people into further STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) related learning. “Coding has been described as a necessary language for the 21st century and a key skill for future economic success in digitally driven communities,” says Library Collections and Services Coordinator Tracey King.  “Robots for Everyone participants will learn these new skills, and then use them to bring the robot to life.” ‘Dewey’ also travels into the community, making guest appearances at schools, organisations and events ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to see 21st century robotics and learn coding.

The future of robotics at Noosa Library Service will see the creation of a Robot Club, which will provide a meeting space for like-minded people to connect and engage with innovative robotics technology.  The Noosa Library Service intend to provide training on how to operate Dewey, to organisations who work with specific groups such as children on the autism spectrum and older people with dementia. This will provide an opportunity for them to explore how ‘Dewey’ can be used to help bridge communication and learning challenges.

The 'Robots for Everyone' project has been extremely popular, with the first two workshops booking out within 48 hours and the positive response from the community continuing to grow. Dewey's key attraction is his ability to help people learn firsthand about the present day rise of robotics, whilst being so cute and appealing. Dewey the NAO robot is the latest, most high-tech and popular community and learning resource that Noosa Library Service offers.

Dewy was purchased with the help of a $18K grant through the State Library of Queensland's Technology Trendsetters 2015 funding program. 

To learn about more about the ‘Robots for Everyone’ program please contact Noosa Library Service:

SA schools in three-year study into merits of robots as educational tools

THEY can do the Macarena, speak foreign languages, sing and play games, but these disarmingly humanoid robots are not mere toys — they could inspire the next generation of computer programmers and help autistic children learn vital social skills.

The Association of Independent Schools of SA has bought two French NAO (pronounced “now”) robots, dubbed Thomas and P!nk, for $12,000 each.

St Peter’s College, Vineyard Lutheran School and St John’s Grammar School are the first of about 20 schools that will trial the robots in a three-year study into their educational benefits involving three interstate universities.

Murray Bridge High School has also bought a NAO which it plans to use in its disability unit.

Monica Williams, the independent school association’s digital learning expert, said the robots had various educational purposes ranging from basic games for preschoolers to conversing with foreign language learners and advanced programming for upper high school students.

Ms Williams said it was increasingly important children learned programming and the robots were an engaging way of teaching it, as their movements gave instant feedback as to whether students’ coding had worked the way they intended.

Used in RoboCup international soccer tournaments, NAOS were developed by Paris-based Aldebaran Robotics, the worldwide leader in humanoid robotics that is also working on companion robots and adult-sized assistance robots for the elderly.

Vineyard Lutheran School learning co-ordinator Stephanie Kriewaldt said independent schools would lead a second study using software that turned aids for autistic students to practise social skills, such as friendly greetings. The robots also helped calm students having “meltdowns”, she said.

St John’s Grammar School head of IT Riccardo Rosadoni said middle school students would program the NAOS for a Robots Got Talent showcase.

St Peter’s College head of technology Nick Lamont said NAOS were great language learning aids because “the pronunciation must be spot on for the robot to understand”.

Murray Bridge High disability unit manager Dr Christine Roberts-Yates said the school had bought a NAO after success with a Japanese therapeutic baby seal robot called Paro.

Independent schools association chief executive Carolyn Grantskalns said schools would investigate how Thomas and P!nk fostered “essential skills” such as critical, creative and computational thinking and collaborative problem solving.

St Peter’s Year 9 student Tom Grozev, 14, said he was “looking forward to making them do the Macarena and the chicken dance.”

Original article can be found here:


Waikiki Primary School in The West Australian Newspaper talking about their new NAO Robot

Move over R2-D2 and WALL-E, Waikiki Primary School's newest addition is a humanoid robot named Neo [NAO] - the first used in a WA classroom.