The United Arab Emirates are helping to finance a robot project. Pal Robotics are based in Barcelona in Spain and almost 10 years ago they were contracted to create a robot that could stand head to head with the Honda ASIMO. Fast forward to today, and the company have unveiled their third generation humanoid robot.
The new REEM robots have been named after an island just off the coast of Abu Dhabi. They have been in development since 2004. Professor Noel Sharkey, a professor of Robotics and Artifical Intelligence at the University of Sheffield spoke to robotsandavatars.net saying “It's owned by the United Arab Emirates royal family. The young prince is a big Star Trek fan, and so he spent a few million pounds getting all these really good engineers to build this robot for him.”
Pal Robotics have released the REEM-A and REEM-B in the past although they were never mass produced or sold to the public. The latest REEM C however is available to purchase as a research platform. KAIST's HUBO robots are already being sold to universities around the globe, costing hundred of thousands of dollars for a single unit. PAL Robotics say that REEM-C is an ideal tool to learn about robotics, including walking, navigation, body control and grasping.
REEM-C is 5ft 4 inches tall and weighs in at 70kg. It can walk at 1ft per second, however it is reckoned this will improve with time. The design is modular and has two internal computers inside, along with stereo cameras, microphones and speakers. The robot has laser range finders on its feet as well.
The unit takes power from a 48V Lithium – ion battery and it can operate for up to 3 hours with a lot of movement, or 6 hours on standby. It takes 5 hours to fully charge.
Special thanks to Gizmag for the heads up.
Kitguru says: In another 30 years, we reckon we will have robots that are almost as realistic as humans.