SoftBank Robotics documentation What's new in NAOqi 2.5?

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.

Calling NAO


Autonomous Life: ON

When NAO has not yet seen you, or is not close enough to be fully listening, he may, however, understand a few words.

Speaking loud enough to be heard, call NAO with one of the following sentences:

English Effect
“NAO” NAO has a small reaction.
“Hello”, “Hi” NAO has a small reaction.
“Come Here”, “Come Closer”

If NAO is able to see you, he asks for confirmation.

If you confirm, NAO comes closer.

“NAO Come Here”, “NAO Come Closer” If NAO is able to see you, he comes closer.

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.