Chinese company Xiaomi has unveiled a four-legged robot called CyberDog: an open source experimental machine that the company says has "incredible capabilities".
CyberDog is the latest example of technology companies wanting quadrupeds in robotics. The most notable example of the trend is the Spot, a machine made by the American company Boston Dynamics. The Spot was launched last year for $ 74.500 and has many different uses, from inspecting hazardous mines to helping doctors connect with their patients remotely. It has also been tested by both law enforcement and the military, without a weapon.
The purpose for which Xiaomi envisions CyberDog is unknown. In a press release, the company stressed the open source nature of the machine design and that it would release only 1.000 units initially for "Xiaomi fans, engineers and robot enthusiasts".
The company says it hopes these first users will "promote the development and capabilities of four-legged robots". The first 1.000 units will cost just $ 9.999, or about $ 1.540 (it is unclear if the price will be the same for future releases).
The same press release states that the CyberDog has the ability to respond to voice commands and follow its owner like a real dog. However, looking at the CyberDog images, it is clear that Xiaomi is not proposing the machine as a rival to the Spot.
Xiaomi states that the CyberDog is agile enough to make backflips, can walk at speeds of 3,2m / s (compared to 3,9m / s of Spot) and weighs 3kg (compared to 5,2kg of Spot). The CyberDog is powered by Nvidia's Jetson Xavier artificial intelligence platform and is equipped with a range of cameras and sensors. These include touch sensors, a GPS module, fisheye wide-angle lenses and an Intel RealSense D450 camera for depth detection. These elements allow the robot to navigate semi-autonomously.
"CyberDog can analyze its environment in real time, create navigation maps, plan its destination and avoid obstacles. "Combined with human posture and face recognition monitoring, the CyberDog is able to track its owner and escape obstacles," said Xiaomi. The machine can also respond to voice commands, recognize words and wake-up instructions, or it can be controlled using a smartphone app.
The CyberDog also has three USB-C ports and an HDMI port, which Xiaomi says can be used to customize hardware. The company says that LED sensors, panoramic cameras and search lights could be added to the robot.