UAE firm develops robot that can talk

June 12th, 2008 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, June 12 (IANS) A United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based company has unveiled a new generation humanoid robot that can converse with humans. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended a function organised by the Abu Dhabi-based Pal Technology Wednesday night to launch the next generation humanoid robot Reem B, the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Reem B is the evolution of the first humanoid robot Reem A, created by Pal Technology Robotics.

“Our dedicated team of engineers has worked hard for four long years to get to where we are today,” WAM quoted Davide Faconti of Pal Technology as saying.

“Reem B is equipped with an infrared laser on its feet, allowing it to find its way and generate autonomously a map of its environment onto a computer screen which guests are able to witness in real time,” he added.

Weighing 60 kg and 1.47 metres tall, the new robot’s customised hardware and software development makes it an autonomous, self-contained service robot, able to communicate with humans and perform a number of unique and sophisticated tasks.

This is what sets it apart from Reem A.

Although both robots can perform face recognition, object recognition, voice recognition and walking, Reem B can also converse with humans, walk dynamically, recognise and grasp objects, accept voice commands, and even remind appointments, according to WAM.

Reem B has a fingered hand with 12 motors, and is able to manoeuvre up and down stairs, with added sensors to ensure that it avoids any obstacles. It has the longest battery autonomy of any robot - 120 minutes.

“Pal Technology’s ultimate goal is to create a truly useful humanoid service robot that will be able to help humans in the future with sophisticated tasks,” Basar Shueb, general manager of Pal Technology, said.

“Reem B is clearly aligned with this vision, not only representing the next generation of humanoid robotics, but a robot designed to assist people and not replace them,” he said.

The Pal Group is a leading business solution provider in the UAE. Its products cater to the needs of the IT industry, construction, water de-salination, travel and tourism and entertainment among others.

The group’s development team is based at Barcelona in Spain.

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