Diving into the expensive fad of robotic pets isn’t viable for everyone. Therefore, some companies are constantly working to bridge the price gap and make these robots affordable for more consumers. Tech titan Xiaomi became the latest entrant to this list after announcing its quadruped — a fancy term for “four-legged” — robot called CyberDog.
Xiaomi‘s CyberDog is a limited-edition robot that you can buy for a competitive price of $1,540 or 9,999 RMB. Compare this to the eye-watering $74,500 that Boston Dynamics charges for Spot, and you’ll understand why Xiaomi’s offering is attractive. Adding to that, CyberDog is even more affordable than fellow Chinese firm Unitree Robotics’s Unitree Go1 that costs $2,700.
However, it’s important to note that this is Xiaomi’s first such venture and is nowhere as refined as Boston Dynamics’s Spot. Neither is it mass-manufactured, as in the case of Unitree Go1. In fact, Xiaomi has announced that only 1000 CyberDogs will go up for sale initially. And, these are aimed at the robotics enthusiast rather than the average consumer.
What Are The Features Of CyberDog?
Xiaomi’s robotic dog is a sophisticated quadruped. It has a collection of cameras and sensors, including an Intel RealSense D450 Depth module, on its body that helps it navigate its surroundings. Thanks to this cutting-edge tech, CyberDog can even detect and avoid nearby obstacles. It means that, usually, the robot will be able to move around on its own. But, if you want, you can control its movement and actions using your voice, the bundled remote controller, or using its smartphone app.
Running on NVIDIA’s AI supercomputer, the Jetson Xavier NX, the CyberDog quickly processes the data it gathers using its sensors. This translates into the Xiaomi robot reacting to its surroundings quicker and intelligently.
Moreover, Xiaomi’s servo motors ensure the CyberDog can perform an array of complicated physical activities. From following you on a path to doing a backflip (just because it can), the robotic dog excels at all of this. Talking about pure stats, it can carry as much as 3kg and move as fast as 3.2m/s.
Xiaomi CyberDog Is An Open-source Project
Importantly, these features are not there for commercial value but rather for research value. That’s because Xiaomi’s CyberDog is an open-source product built using open-source algorithms. Hence, developers can freely modify it to include personalized upgrades.
To facilitate the development of the open-source robot, it also comes with an HDMI slot and 3 USB Type-C slots. These ports allow users to integrate external devices such as LiDAR, search light, motion camera, etc.
By going the open-source way, Xiaomi hopes to accelerate the growth of its four-legged robot companion. The company revealed that it would set up the Xiaomi Open Source Community to share all progress reports in its blog. The smartphone leader also revealed its intention to “establish a robotics laboratory … to continue the pursuit of future innovations.”