Saturday, June 28, 2008

Prepare to be Obsolete

Quick, alert the hysterical crackpots at “Teh Blogging Tories” — Western civilization could soon be imperiled by a horrifying new threat from the Middle East...

An invasion of Mooslim robots!!!

Pal Technology Ltd. based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, has launched a prototype humanoid service robot codenamed Reem B. The new robot is able to map and self localize itself, both elements that set it apart from its predecessor, Reem A. In addition to performing face recognition, object recognition, voice recognition and walking (up to 1.5 km/hr) the new robot can also carry a payload of up to one third its weight, converse with humans, walk dynamically, recognize and grasp objects, accept voice commands, and even remind humans of appointments. Potential uses of the machine in the future are said to include providing assistance to the elderly and disabled.

The Gulf States seem to be developing into a hotbed of robot technology these days for some reason. Recently, neighboring Qatar announced that it’s planning to use specially developed robots instead of young boys as jockeys in camel racing, in response to international criticism of the use of child jockeys in the popular sport. Developed by an un-named Swiss company, the new camel racing robot has already been successfully tested according to Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani, the chairman of the committee in charge of the project, who added that this could lead to a factory for robot production eventually being built in the region.

Update: A more entertaining robot named “Titan” was unveiled last year in Dubai. With design nods to H.R. Giger it seems, the robot doesn’t appear to be terribly functional, aside from amusing people at trade shows, but “Titan” is capable of dancing (sort of), cracking wise and belting out an array of tunes including “You can leave your hat on” by Tom Jones.