Spanish robot maker PAL Robotics, best known for their REEM humanoid robots, has just introduced a new mobile manipulator called Tiago (Take It And Go). Want to pick stuff up and move it around in a research environment? This could be the robot for you.
We should point out right from the get-go that the general design of Tiago bears some resemblance to that of the UBR-1 from Unbounded Robotics, which itself can be traced back to Platformbot, and Toyota’s HSR predates them both. But really what’s going on here is that the current generation of mobile manipulators just looks like this: they’ve all got bases with wheels, spines to give them height, an arm that’s mounted on the spine somehow, and a sensor head. In other words, we shouldn’t read too much in to design similarities, and we should also expect to see more robots that look similar to each other as mobile manipulators become more desirable and prevalent.
Anyway, back to Tiago. You probably want specs, huh?
Tiago comes in three different configurations: “iron,” “steel,” and “titanium,” none of which refer to the materials used to create the robot. The base model (iron) comes with a 3-meter navigation laser and no arm, and will run you just under €30,000 (US $34,000). Add a 7-DoF arm with a parallel gripper, and you’re looking at about €50,000 ($57,000). The titanium version, which includes a five-fingered hand with a force/torque sensor plus a 10-meter navigation laser, will set you back about €60,000 ($68,000). And if you want, say, a 10-meter laser but no arm because you just want to work on navigation for some reason, PAL is happy to work with you on other configurations.
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.