Automaton reader Davide wrote to let us know that his team at Pal Technology has developed REEM-B, a humanoid robot designed to assist humans with everyday tasks. They recently presented a teleoperated prototype at an event in Abu Dhabi, where the company is based (though much of the development took place in Barcelona, Spain). This YouTube video shows a fancy introduction of the robot (and looks something like what I hope commercials for robots will look like one day on TV), but the following video is a little more informational about what REEM-B can do:
Davide tells us:
The robot has some unique features: its batteries last more than 2 hours (twice as much as Asimo). It has 41 degrees of freedom and it has object, face and voice recognition. It's the first biped robot implementing laser-based SLAM [Simultaneous Localization and Mapping] and it is probably the strongest humanoid in the world, since it can walk carrying up to 14 kg. The first robot (REEM-A) was created in just 1 year, and REEM-B in the following 2 years.
He also points out that his team is hiring.
Like Asimo, REEM-B still hasn't achieved full autonomy, requiring a human operator to tell it where to go and what to do. "Pour me a glass of Coke" isn't understood; specific tasks must be commanded on a lower level. However, the mapping capabilities, manipulation, and facial recognition are impressive. Plenty more videos are available here.
I would like to extend my generous offer to test out any prototypes in my home. I've got some dishes that need washing.