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Meet Tico, WALL-E’s Real-Life Robot Twin

TreeLogic and Adele Robots, a pair of Spanish companies, may have a lawsuit on their hands when Pixar sees their service robot Tico.  Perhaps in a bid to make the bulky thing a little less intimidating, its big blinking eyes bear a striking resemblance to those of WALL-E, the animation studio’s popular trash-compactor bot.  Don’t let its toy-like looks deceive you; it’ll set you back between 60,000~100,000 Euros ($85,000~$141,000 USD) depending on the options you select, or you can rent one for 2,500 Euros ($3,500) per day.

Somewhat misleadingly Tico doesn’t deal with waste disposal, offering instead to provide information, guide you to your destination, or attract curious visitors to your trade show booth.  Although the robot is shown guiding people in a supermarket (a solution to a problem most people don’t have), it could be useful in airports, museums, and other places.

It comes equipped with a touch screen, a laser range finder (along with a bunch of ultrasonic sensors) near its base for obstacle detection, and a camera near the top of its neck to help recognize you.  Its head and neck has 6 degrees of freedom, moves on a differential with two high torque EC gear-motors, and runs Ubuntu 9.10 on an Intel Core Duo 1.6Ghz.  It stands 150cm (5′) tall and weighs 65kg (143 lbs), and has a battery autonomy of 8 hours.

Video (Mirror):

Adele Robots is also positioning the robot in other fields, such as elder care or teaching assistance, as it could probably function as a basic telepresence robot.  The company is also working on a virtual assistant named Elvira and distribute the therapeutic robot seal Paro (named Nuka in Spain because Paro sounds like “unemployment”).

[source: Adele Robots] & [photo by: jlmaral @ Flickr]

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