Repair of broken Nao robot battery pack

The battery pack for our Aldebaran / SoftBank Robotics Nao V6 robot broke and we are currently not able to find a reseller that ships to our country. Even contacting SoftBank Robotics directly did not result in any response. The official specifications are available here. Since the battery pack was clearly broken we decided to open it up to be able to find a replacement battery ourselves.

Opening the casing is difficult, since it is not only kept in place with latches, but is also glued together. We used a soldering iron at the seams to open open the case.

The battery back seems to consist of six Sony US18650NC1 2900mAh batteries. They are connected with seven wires to a PCB board. The power supply connects with two cables to the PCB board. In addition, the case has two contacts next the charger plug that could be used for detecting if the battery cover is closed. Five contacts connect the battery pack to the robot of which the first two bigger ones seem to carry the power. The four smaller contacts are probably to communicate with between the robot and the battery PCB board.

We ordered some new batteries and will keep you updated on the developments.

Softbank Robotics Robot Settings Software Cannot Connect To Server

I am working my way through updating our Nao robots and I was able to install the latest version of Choregraphe ( on a Mac OS X computer that still runs an an older version of the OS (10.13.6 High Sierra). The problem is that the newest version of Choregraphe expects to communicate with the newest version of NAOqi, the operating system of the Nao robots. Problem is again that the Aldebaran online community has been closed and hence you cannot directly download the latest version fo NAOqi.

Softbank Robotics is now offering the Robot Settings app that should allow you to update your Nao robot. The installer even works on Mac OS X 10.15 Catalina. I connected my Nao via a ethernet cable directly to my Mac and was able to connect to it using Robot Settings.

I was able to connect the robot to the internet using Wifi. The problem comes with the next step called “Synchronisation”.

Robot Settings is unable to connect to the “server”. I assume that this would be a server over at Aldebaran or Softbank Robotics. In any case, it is impossible to get beyond this step.

I used the Robot Settings up with our latest Nao V6 and this time it worked. But it does not allow you to update NAOqi, just other apps that you might have downloaded from their App Store. Our Nao V6 does not have the latest version of NAOqi and hence again I am stuck.

You could use Choregraphe to update NAOqi (see screenshot) but this would require that you had already downloaded NAOqi, which is currently impossible.

The last method would be to use the Flasher application and a USB stick to update the robot. But again, you would already need to have the NAOqi image available.

Softbank Robotics, please get your support up and running again. You make it very difficult for us to operate the products you sold us.

Softbank Robotics Choregraphe Software Incompatible With Mac OS X 10.15 Catalina

Update: Softbank Robotics support confirmed that this is a problem and their recommendation is just a workaround. They told me to use a virtual machine with Ubuntu. Sigh. (18 November 2020)

It was time again to get my hands onto our Nao robots and since I just had received a new Mac laptop I took the opportunity to download the latest version of Softbank Robotics/Aldebaran’s Choregraphe software (version  It turns out that the newest version is incompatible with the latest version of Mac OS X (10.15.7 Catalina). It cannot be installed.

Here is what happens. You can download only the newest version of the various software packages from the new Softbank Robotics website. If you need an older version then you are out of luck since the links to old Aldebaran website are simply broken. You only get the information that the community website has been discontinued.

But okay, lets try the latest greatest. Mac OS X has a security feature called Gatekeeper to only allow the execution of that prevents the execution of any program by unidentified developers. You will get an errors message:

““choregraphe-suite-” cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified.”You need to click on “Cancel”. Normally you would now go to your security settings and allow this app to open anyway at the bottom of the windows:

This will then fire up the installer app again. And you get another warning message:

“macOS cannot verify the developer of “choregraphe-suite-”. Are you sure you want to open it?”

You can now click on “Open”, which should start the installer app. Instead the installer quits and never progresses. You could then try to bring back the option in Mac OS X to allow apps from any developer by using a little bit of Terminal magic:

sudo spctl --master-disable

After a reboot you can try your luck again opening the installer and you get this error message:

““choregraphe-suite-” is an app downloaded from the internet. Are you sure you want to open it?”

After clicking “Open” the installer quits again and you are unable to install Choregraphe. Notice that the error messages points again at the discontinued Aldebaran community.

Dear Softbank Robotics, it seems like your software needs some updates and your support website seems also in desperate need for some updates. Please, we paid thousands of dollars for your robots, don’t let them die like this.

Does anybody have a solution for this problem? Does anybody have an older version of Choregraphe available? Maybe we need to setup our own download archive to be able to maintain our robot buddies.