TAIPAN is a spectroscopic instrument that incorporates 150 optical fibres within individual Starbug robots that position across the 6 degree field-of-view of the UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST).

In addition to the positioning system prototype for MANIFEST, the TAIPAN project includes a new spectrograph (an all-refractive 2-arm design that delivers a spectral resolution of R>2000 over the wavelength range 370-870 nm) and an upgrade to the UKST systems (telescope drive motors and encoders, hardware and software control systems, and dome drive and shutter control systems).

The TAIPAN instrument has two key aims. This first aim is to act as a proof-of-concept for the Starbugs positioning technology for use on the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). The second aim for TAIPAN is to deliver a capability to Australian astronomers to carry out a comprehensive spectroscopic galaxy survey of the Southern Hemisphere.