What is the Nao Challenge

The Nao Challenge is an educational contest for high school students organized for the first time in Italy in 2015 by Scuola di Robotica (the School of Robotics) in collaboration with SoftBank Robotics and the Italian company CampuStore.

The aim of the competition is to offer high school students the change to work and program a humanoid robot to be used in plausible and real-like situations.

Service robots can be useful to humans in different situations: at home, at school, in hospital. To support learning, to help in inclusive education, even just to cheer and reassure.

In the coming years, technological development in robotics and in Artificial Intelligence will be driving humans to relate more and more with learning machines capable of taking autonomous decisions and these, very often, will have a humanoid form.

Scuola di Robotica is convinced that education and culture in all the subjects, STEM and Arts, technoscience and humanities, are important to prepare future generations for the challenges that the current technological revolution will bring and for this reason it invests resources in the organization of a contest dedicated to humanoid robotics. This challenge requires that students that the students employ all their skills, techno scientific, artistic, social:

  • To Develop problem-solving, organizational and cooperation skills.
  • To Acquire technical and planning skills.
  • To Develop creativity and communication skills.
  • And they will also discover promising professions and careers.

The Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) has included the NAO Challenge among the competitions that allow access to the National Register of Excellence.

How it works

The teams, made up of a maximum of ten students, are divided into two categories for the semi-finals: those who own the robot Nao and those who do not.

The school that wants to participate in the NAO Challenge does not need to have the humanoid robot. All teams can use the NAO simulation software and, during the school year, have the opportunity to test their program on a Nao robot made available by the organizers through a hosting network.

The tests are different for each edition with the aim of stimulating students to explore the potential of humanoid robots in different areas of everyday reality.

For the 2020 edition, the theme is the protection and promotion of cultural heritage.

To participate, the teams must select and present the beneficiary(s) of the project and outline how they arrived at the proposed solution through various tests that include the study of specific cases, the analysis of existing solutions and interviews with experts.

The 2020 edition of the Nao Challenge has the following objectives:

Programming the NAO robot to identify new applications to safeguard, protect and promote Italian cultural heritage through the interaction between the robot and other devices.

Identify and cooperate with a cultural institution interested in experimenting with new technologies and work with it to create a project to be presented during the contest.