Are there plans for updating Pepper, especially the NaoQi interface? I am an academic researcher working with Pepper, but this has become progressively more frustrating as Pepper has stopped receiving updates. The new Android 2.9 OS does not give the level of flexibility needed for research. But the old NaoQi 2.5 SDK suffers from a lack of Python 3 support, it's been over 3 years since Python 2 was discontinued. Also some of the technologies such as speech recognition, face recognition, etc. are quite inferior to modern neural / cloud based solutions. I was hoping the acquisition by URG might lead to updates for Pepper/NAO, especially for the open source / research community. Even if URG was not interested in continuing software support for NaoQi, releasing an open/research version of the OS would allow researchers with these robots to update them and continue improving them. Currently we are left with very expensive hardware with very outdated software.
I completely agree. Having spent so much money for the robotics lab and being left alone without updates to current open-source software technologies is quite frustrating. Also the pandemic induced a lot of battery problems, so our robots are now just pieces for a museum!
Python is king in AI application, investing in Android have no future in robotics for research. Also support for ROS2 shall be considered, so to give students a professional skill to spend in the real world.