You know it's officially The Future when a human-like robot (the NAO) is able to pet (well, brush, actually) a cat via a complex hack involving a treadmill, Kinect, Wii, and Head-Mounted Display (HMD). Taylor Veltrop shows us the future of human/robot/cat interaction in this video:
Here's how he describes it (emphasis added):
This is the culmination of my last year's work. I control the robot's arms through the Kinect and Wii remotes. I control the robot's navigation through the Kinect and treadmill. I control the robot's head through the head mounted display (HMD). I also see through the robot's eyes with the HMD.
After doing this exercise, it became apparent that the next feature to add is hearing and speaking through the robot. Luckily both the NAO and my HMD have microphones and speakers so this shouldn't be too difficult.
This was the second try accomplishing brushing the cat. On the first try we discovered that the positioning of the brush in NAO's hand needed to be flipped 180 degrees from the intuitive direction.
I, for one, welcome our new brushing overlords.