Interacting with NAO

Talking with NAO


Autonomous Life: ON - Basic Channel: ON

To chat with NAO:

Step Action

Get close enough, and make sure NAO has seen you.

NAO will detect your presence if you approach within five feet (1.5 meter).

For further details, see: How NAO detects humans.

Check if NAO is listening, his eyes should be navy blue.

For further details, see: How I know NAO is listening.

Say a short sentence, in one go.

Pauses are interpreted as the end of the sentence, so do not hesitate: speak loud and clear, without hesitation.

For further details, see: Basic Channel - What can I say to NAO.

Managing activities


Autonomous Life: ON - Basic Channel: ON - Installed Activities: Yes

Launching an Activity

To start an Activity:

Step Action

Make sure NAO is listening.

For further details, see: Talking with NAO.


  • “Start” + the Activity name, or
  • one of the Trigger sentences, if any.

NAO automatically starts the corresponding Activity.

English French
Start activity_name Lance activity_name
Activity trigger sentence Activity Trigger sentence

Exiting an Activity

To stop an Activity currently running:

Step Action
Lay your hand on the three Head tactile sensors for 3 to 10 seconds.

Remove your hand.

The current Activity is stopped.

Note: if there was no running Activity, NAO reacts as if you stroked his head.

NAO has fallen

If, for any reason, NAO has fallen on the floor, don’t worry!
The current activity is automatically stopped and NAO tries to stand back up on his own.

NAO tries to recover the last stable posture he was in (sitting or standing) and will not stop trying until this posture is recovered.

When a try fails, NAO removes its Stiffness so a human can put NAO in a more favourable position, (sit or crouch) so NAO’s next attempt will be successful.

Understanding interaction

How NAO detects humans

NAO tries, as much as possible, to establish and keep eye contact with people around.

To do so, NAO:

Step Action
A Looks in the direction of any detected stimulus - sound, movement, touch.

Checks if this stimulus may correspond to a human.

  • If a human is detected, NAO tries to keep eye contact with him/her,
  • If not, NAO goes back to his previous occupation.


NAO does not react to new stimulus:

  • When processing a stimulus (i.e. checking if it corresponds to a human).

    NAO does not react to other stimuli until he has finished to process the first one.

  • When engaged in an Activity or a Dialog.

    When NAO is chatting with a human, he always keeps tracking the human until the human has left.

    When NAO is in the middle of an Activity, all his actions are exclusively defined by the Activity itself.

How I know NAO is listening

To make sure NAO is listening, check his eye LEDs, and pay attention to the slight “blip” sounds.

Eye LEDs feedback

When the eye LEDs are ... NAO is ...
Navy blue, rotating listening.
Green not listening anymore, he is processing what the human just said.
White or pale blue not listening, the dialog has not started.

Sound feedback

Additionally, slight “bilip” sounds can be heard when NAO starts and stops listening:

  • when starting listening, the sound is ascending,
  • when stopping the sound is descending.