Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi has unveiled its first commercial quadruped robot, and its design might be one that keen watchers of the space are familiar with. The newly introduced CyberDog is a quadruped robot inspired by our four-legged friends, and it bears a lot of similarities with the impressive Spot developed by Boston Dynamics, though costs just a fraction of that robot's US$75,000 price.
The CyberDog is loaded with servo motors that allow it to trot along at speeds of up to 11.5 km/h (7 mph), and packs a range of cameras and sensors that enable it to navigate around obstacles with centimeter-scale accuracy. These include touch sensors, GPS modules, ultrasonic sensors, a wide-angle fisheye camera and AI interactive cameras, with the robot able to be trained by computer vision algorithms to find its way around different environments.
Not only is the robot capable of doing backflips, it can recognize human posture and faces and therefore be made to follow its owner or other subjects. It will also respond to voice commands via a six-microphone array, and can be controlled via a smartphone app or the included remote control.
The engine room of the operation is NVIDIA's Jetson Xavier NX supercomputer, which guides the CyberDog through its different tasks and stores the data collected by its sensors on the 128-GB onboard SSD.
Xiaomi is positioning the CyberDog as an open source platform for developers to build on for various applications. It comes with three type-C ports and an HDMI port to accommodate extra hardware, with search lights, panoramic cameras and LiDAR just a few of the examples put forward. To that end, rather than a wide release for consumers, it's beginning with a release of 1,000 units to "robotic enthusiasts," each for a price of CN¥9,999 (approx. US$1,550).
You can see the robot do a backflip along with some other neat tricks in the demonstration video below.