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TALOS Humanoid Now Available from PAL Robotics

PAL Robotics hopes that within the next five years, TALOS will be working side by side with humans

2 min read
TALOS humanoid robot from PAL Robotics
TALOS humanoid robot from PAL Robotics.
Photo: PAL Robotics

If you are a roboticist and you want to work with humanoids but you don’t want to build a robot from scratch, PAL Robotics would be happy to sell you one. The Spanish robot maker is introducing a new option that improves on its REEM humanoids: TALOS is a 32-degrees-of-freedom, 1.75-meter-tall, 100-kilogram robot designed for dynamic walking, heavy lifting, and (eventually) assisting humans with all of those tasks that we really don’t want to be doing.

PAL Robotics designed TALOS with the intention of having the robot “work on physically demanding and accurate tasks performed under hostile or uncomfortable industrial settings,” according to PAL CEO Francesco Ferro. This means that the robot is not just a research platform—it’s going to start out in research, as many robots do, but PAL hopes it can transition into doing useful tasks in the real world, a thing that humanoid robots in general aren’t known for.

TALOS humanoid robot from PAL Robotics

Image: PAL Robotics
TALOS is a 32-degrees-of-freedom humanoid robot: It has 6-DoF legs, 7-DoF arms, 1-DoF hands, 2-DoF neck, and 2-DoF waist.

Right out of the box (and we assume it’s a pretty big box), TALOS can walk at 3 km/h, it can handle traveling over irregular surfaces, and its battery can keep it running for up to 3 hours (depending on what the robot is doing). The robot is powered by ROS (hooray!), and full EtherCAT communications allow its internal networks to run control loops in the kilohertz range. It has 7-DoF arms, each of which can lift an impressive 6 kilograms at full extension. It’s modular and upgradeable in both hardware and software.

The first TALOS (named Pyrène) is already hard at work at the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture Systems (LAAS-CNRS) in Toulouse, France:

Full-size humanoid robots are a tricky business, so we asked PAL Robotics what the story is behind TALOS:

We believe that our environment is tailored to us, humans, and as such, in the long term, we will need a robot that is able to adapt to our human environments. TALOS has been on our roadmap for a while and we are glad that we were able to work with LAAS-CNRS to have this first unit available and working already for research purposes. It has really proven to be a huge engineering challenge for us and we are very satisfied with the end result. 

PAL Robotics hopes that within the next five years, TALOS will be working side by side with humans doing manipulation in industrial applications. Longer term, there’s potential for working in search and rescue, or in other areas where it’s too dangerous to send humans. It’s this kind of thing that TALOS is ideal for, and that’s reflected in the cost—at something around 1 million, the best place for a robot like this is where a robot like this is the only safe option.

[ PAL Robotics ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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