The Business Aldebaran designs and produces user-friendly and interactive humanoid robots. In less than 10 years, we have become a leader in the humanoid robotics market

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The Business

Aldebaran designs and produces 

user-friendly and interactive 

humanoid robots. In less than 

10 years, we have become a 

leader in the humanoid robotics 

market. Today, we offer robots that 

assist professionals in education, 

research, health, distribution, and 

tourism, as well as those that help 

both families and individuals.

The Challenge

Humanoid robots require a high 

degree of safety, due to their close 

interaction with humans. We must 

provide customers a product that 

is safe and secure by construction 

and which conforms to the 

principal robotic standards (such 

as IEC12100, ISO10218, ISO13482). 

The Solution

Aldebaran evaluated the Papyrus 

Robotic Platform, a design and 

development tool customized for 

the robotic domain. The RobotML 

language, an extension of the 

industry-standard UML integrated 

into the Papyrus Robotic Platform, 

is capable of modeling any kind of 

mobile robots. The Platform also 

provides modules for model-based 

safety and security analyses based 

on the ISO13482.

The Benefit

The use of Papyrus helped 

Aldebaran to centralize project-

related knowledge and supported 

development of different parts of 


Romeo II robot. It also helped 

improve information exchange 

between different teams.

Eclipse Papyrus Case Study Series

humanoid robots

family is growing

March 2016

[ Romeo II Project ]

« We believe in a future 

where humanoid robots 

will be assisting humans 

in their everyday lives, 

their family lives, their 

leisure activities, and

in their work. »

The Business


Nao to Pepper


rom the outset, our goal was to make robots 

accessible to everyone, based on the view that 

they will become our daily companions.

We designed our first robot, 

Nao, in 2006. As an impressive 

testimonial to this amazing pioneering 

adventure, over 9,000 

Naos are currently 

in use throughout the world, with 

particular successes in research and 


In 2009, we launched the 

Romeo project 

in collaboration with research several 

laboratories and institutions, with the 

goal to intensify our research into 

assistance aimed at people facing a loss 

of autonomy.

In 2014, Aldebaran introduced 


for the B2B market in Japan. Starting 

with the summer of 2015, 

Pepper is 

available to customers in Japan. More 

than 7000 

Peppers have been sold today. 

Aldebaran currently represents more 

than 400 Aldebaranians, 4 offices (Paris, 

Tokyo, Boston and Shanghai). It has 

recently become a subsidiary of the 

SoftBank group.

The Challenge

« Most available 

standards, guidelines 

and norms are 

not adapted to the 

robotic domain »


odern robotic systems and, in particular, 

humanoid robots, are complex and are 

capable of performing sophisticated 

tasks in different domains. Such 

robots must satisfy certain 

dependability requirements including 

notably reliability, availability, safety, 

and security.  Unfortunately, most 

available standards, guidelines, and 

norms pertaining to functional safety 

propose classical methods and generic 

methodologies which are not adapted 

to the robotic domain. In particular, 

the fast evolution of modern humanoid 

robots, their ever-growing complexity 

and multi-disciplinary aspects, require 

new safety approaches capable of 

analyzing a system from the earliest 

development phases, as well as new 

tools adapted to the robotic domain.


 // Eclipse Papyrus Case Study Series - March 2016 // Humanoid Robots : Family is growing // 

The Business & The Challenge

The Business

The Challenge


[Nao (on the left) was born in 2006. 9,000 Naos are now in use all over the world. © Aldebaran]


 // Eclipse Papyrus Case Study Series - March 2016 // Humanoid Robots : Family is growing //  

The Solution


n order to cope with system complexity, Aldebaran 

turned to a model-driven engineering approach 

supported by Papyrus and tuned to the robotic 

domain. This significantly simplified 

the support of system requirements, 

design, safety and security analysis, and 

verification and validation throughout the 

system life-cycle. 

The RobotML language provided within 

the Papyrus Robotic Platform makes 

it easy to design, simulate and deploy 

robotic applications. With RobotML, 

robotic systems can be defined using 

appropriate notations, abstractions, 

and facilities to automatically generate 

executable code. RobotML proved to be 

a good solution for Aldebaran’s experts 

that deal with variability problems, as 

well as for system architects who no 

longer need to be concerned with the 

details of low-level programming.

In addition to modeling, the Papyrus 

Robotic Platform provides facilities 

to develop safe and secure robotic 

systems. It can help Aldebaran to 

automate the safety analysis process 

and also to link it with ISO13482 and 

the different phases of the corporate 

development life-cycle practices. 

The platform includes a language 

that defines the main safety concepts, 

libraries of various hazards and safety 

requirements as specified by ISO13482, 

FTA (fault tree analysis) and FMEA (failure 

mode and effects analysis) modules, and a 

report generation module. 

[“ For the safety study

of its companion robots, Aldebaran 

uses Papyrus as complex system 

modelling tool.” ]



[Pepper was first introduced for the B2B market in Japan in 2014. © Jake Curtis / Aldebaran]

The Solution

« dealing with 

complexity »


 // Eclipse Papyrus Case Study Series - March 2016 // Humanoid Robots : Family is growing // 

The Benefits


he use of Papyrus can help Aldebaran to 

better cope with engineering time and cost by 

bridging the gap between system development 

and safety and security analysis. Indeed, 

the preliminary results of the 

safety and security analysis performed 

in the early phases of robotic life-cycle

can reveal the most critical aspects of 

the design, which, thanks to Papyrus 

Robotic Platform, can be mitigated at 

minimum cost. 

In the scope of the 

Romeo II project, by 

using UML profile mechanisms in Papyrus 

the Papyrus Robotic Platform provided a 

shared view of the system for both system 

and safety/security engineers.

This allowed Aldebaran to integrate all 

data linked with the development and 

safety/security analysis to this single 

robotic model. As a result, Aldebaran 

experts got a flexible tool, which enables 

the different teams to view the system as 

a whole, to improve the communication 

on the project, and to facilitate 

collaborations between team members.

« A flexible tool, 

which enables 

the different teams 

to view the system 

as a whole,  »

About Aldebaran Robotics

Nature : Industry

Domain : Humanoid robotics

Web Site :

Employees : 400


Publisher :

 CEA List // 

Chief Editor : 

Sébastien Gérard // 

Texts : 

Rodolphe Gelin // 

Layout :

 Florence Boulenger-Delplanque

Copy Edit :

 Bran Selic // 



Picture :

 © Aldebaran (Nao Robots) & LaCozza / Fotolia

© 2015 CEA List. All rights reserved. All other trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced here belong to their respective companies. This document is for your informational purposes only.

 About List ( : One of three institutes which comprise CEA Tech (CEA Technological Research Division), the List institute is committed to technological innovation in 

digital systems. Its R&D activities - driven by major economic, societal and industrial challenges -  encompass four main themes : advanced manufacturing ; embedded systems ; 

ambient intelligence ; and healthcare, including radiotherapy and imaging technologies.

About Papyrus ( : Papyrus is an Eclipse project led by List (contact : Sébastien Gérard at Papyrus is also labelled as a solution of 

the Eclipse industrial working group Polarsys ( Papyrus supports model-driven approaches by providing a standards-based modeling 

tool that supports, out of the box, both the uML and the SysML international industry standards from the OMG. In addition, Papyrus provides very advanced support for custom uML 

profiles that specialize UML, which enables users to define and implement their own domain- and project-specific modeling tools and languages (DSMLs). The user interface of 

Papyrus is highly configurable to support a broad spectrum of user-specific domains and concerns.

[Nao’s Visitors Book in a recent event © Aldebaran]

The Benefits

[ The model-based safety and 

security analyses provided by the 

Papyrus Robotic Platform would allow 

Aldebaran to better control the quality 

of its products starting with the early 

phases of system life-cycle. ]

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