Mecs nao

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Nao setup

Since I couldn't find any documentation about how the Nao robot is set up here at UiO. I'm writing down some documentation so that others can use it afterwards.

Connecting to the Nao robot

Robin‘s Nao robot as it currently stands (October 2017) is a V4 robot and it's running the custom naoQi operating system (i.e., not Robot OS (ROS)). The easiest way to interact with it is to run Choregraphe, which is well documented. In addition there is also Python and C++ bindings if more complex operation is needed.

Of course, you need to send the programs over from Choregraphe to the rboot. That requires connecting to the robot. The eduroam network is too locked down to communicate with the robot (that is, Nao doesn't support WPA2 Enterprise connections). To make it easier, there's a wireless AP/switchwireless AP/switch (Note that this current switch does not work well and probably should be replaced in the long term.) we have for the robot to connect to. The router has a WPA2 network called MecsNet and it has a password mecsmecs. The Nao is already set up to automatically connect to this network. Otherwise, you will have to connect Nao to another network on your own.

The MecsNet network is not connected to the Internet or any other local network. So, you will need to connect your laptop or virtual machine to the exact same network. For laptops with an ethernet port and a wireless card, it is probably easier to connect to the hub with an ethernet cable. Then you can still access the Internet via your wireless connection (see Figure below).

Network topography for the robot.

You also need an account on the Aldebaran-Robotics Community site that is associated with the Nao. This requires a connection to the Internet.


Connecting Nao to the Internet

Unfortunately, the Nao needs to be connected to the Internet to do some things, like download updates to applications and install them. However, drift doesn’t allow machines (or robots) an ethernet connection and the Nao cannot connect to eduroam because of the security used on it (WPA2 Enterprise). So, given the above set up, the Nao is trapped. There are temporary options:

  • Use tethering from a phone to connect the robot to the internet.
  • Create a bridge (and NAT) on the Laptop for the network on the switch.

The first option is easy, but you need to have a fair amount of data for downloads and other housekeeping if you want this to be a viable long term solution. The second option is much more complex and requires a good operating system, but is doable and is currently beyond the scope of this document.

So, if you must use one of these options, try to make the connection short and plan your use of the Internet. It's different from how we normally use things here in Norway, but it seems what we have to do in this situation.

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