Humanoid Reem-B robot walks, talks, and listens

Abu Dhabi-based company shows off an autonomous robot developed in Barcelona, Spain, that is capable of walking, talking, grasping objects, and responding to voice commands.

Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi
2 min read
Reem-B humanoid robot Pal Technology Robotics

A new humanoid robot called Reem-B was unveiled on Wednesday at an event on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emerites.

The Reem-B robot from Pal Technology Robotics is capable of face recognition, speech interaction, biped walking, traversing stairs, and sitting (see video below). It can also recognize and pick up objects, as well as evaluate and map out a room to better navigate it.

Reem-B stands at 4'10" (1.47 meters) tall and weighs about 132 pounds (60Kg). It can carry up to 26 pounds (12Kg) in its arms and walk at a speed of 1 mph (1.5Km/h). It can also climb stairs. Using a main CPU that consists of a Core 2 Duo (1.66GHz) and a Geode (500MHz), the robot can operate for about 120 minutes before its battery needs to be recharged.

By comparison, Honda's Asimo robot is slightly shorter and lighter, at 4 feet, 3 inches tall, and weighing 119 pounds. The Honda robot is also a bit faster, with a running capability of 4 mph, compared to Reem-B's 1 mph walking speed.

However, where Asimo claims 34 degrees of freedom, Reem-B claims to have 41 degrees of freedom, making it more flexible with movement.

Pal Technology Robotics began posting photos and some video footage of Reem-B on its site in April, but the robot was not officially unveiled to the public until Wednesday.

Pal Technology Robotics is a subsidiary of the Pal Technology Group, which produces power and desalination plants, and is part the Royal Group, an Abu Dhabi, UAE-based conglomerate.

While Pal Robotics Technology is officially headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the team responsible for developing Reem-B actually works out of an apartment located in the center of Barcelona, Spain.

The team of mostly Spanish scientists is led by Davide Faconti, 29, who is from Italy and has been chronicling the progress of both the first generation Reem-A robot and the newest Reem-B robot in his personal blog.

The Reem-B team led by Davide Faconti (right of robot in white shirt) operates out of an apartment in Barcelona, Spain. Pal Technology Robotics