Abu Dhabi to produce life-size robots from next year

Factory in UAE capital will create REEM, a 1.65m tall robot that can move at 5kph
Abu Dhabi has developed a life-size robot that could take the place of human workers
By Shane McGinley
Mon 10 Oct 2011 09:58 AM

Abu Dhabi has developed a life-size robot that could take the place of human workers, Arabian Business has learned. [photos]

The UAE capital is planning to open a factory late next year which will produce around dozen of the robots per month.

Barcelona-based company PAL Robotics, part of Abu Dhabi conglomerate the Royal Group, is a robotics company focused on the research, development and commercialisation of humanoid robots.

Earlier this year it launched REEM, a 1.65m tall mobile humanoid robot which can move at 5km per hour. Trialed at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), the robots proved so successful that PAL plans to open a factory next year in the emirate to manufacture REEM humanoids.

“To be able to deliver these robots to ADNEC, and other future clients, we are building a factory in Abu Dhabi. If all goes according to plan, the factory will be ready by the second half of 2012, producing about a dozen of robots a month,” Jorien Guijs, marketing manager at Pal Robotics, told Arabian Business.

“At the moment REEM is prepared for use at exhibition centres and shopping malls. In the future we will focus as well on the healthcare sector, airports, museums and other public spaces,” Guijs added.

Classed as a humanoid robot, REEM is equipped with an autonomous navigation system, a touch screen, and PAL claims it is capable of roaming through any kind of surroundings, replacing traditionally employed low-skilled workers.

It can be used as a guide or an entertainer and its functions include face tracking and recognition functions and a small platform, which can be used to transport luggage and other objects. The inbuilt lithium battery allows it to move around for up to eight hours without the need for cables.

Once the robots go into production next year, Guijs estimated they will cost up to €200,000 ($269,157) each, depending on demand.

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