The email from Thomas Rofer:
the RoboCup Federation has decided to accept the proposal of Aldebaran Robotics (http://www.aldebaran-robotics.com) to provide their humanoid robot Nao as successor of the AIBO in the Standard Platform League (the former Four-Legged League), at least for two years.
The Four-Legged League is renamed to “Standard Platform League”. The main property of this league is that all teams the same platform, i.e. there is no hardware development. In 2008, there will be two competitions: The AIBO competition (for the last time) and the Nao competition. We currently assume that there will be 24 teams in both competitions together (e.g. 8 teams in the Nao league and 16 in the AIBO league).
Aldebaran Robotics will starting the production of the Nao in the beginning of 2008. They plan to be able to provide 2 robots to a limited number of teams at the end of February 2008 and another 2 at the end of May.
The pricing is currently intended to be:
Single Nao: 4500 Euro + VAT
RoboCup Package of 4 Naos: 11000 Euro + VAT
Additional Nao if you already bought the RoboCup package: 3600 Euro + VAT
There will be an official call for participation later. However, for planning purposes it would be nice to know how many teams would like to participate in the Nao league under these conditions. If more teams are interested in participation than Aldebaran Robotics can provide robots for, there will be some kind of qualification procedure.
Since the “Four-Legged League” is renamed to “Standard Platform League”, there now exist a number of aliases for the existing sources of information:
http://www.tzi.de/spl (currently just a forward)
The 4legged/legged variants will keep working for quite a while.
This feels right. As long as the robot is able to move around reasonably well, this league could prove to be very popular. They knew what they were doing: while all other companies were focused on building the most hackable, flexible, upgradable solution, Aldebaran made a really great looking robot. As long as it’s not a dud, that’s all that matters. It brings excitement to the league.