- Xiaomi announced its first quadruped robot in the form of a mechanical dog.
- The aptly named CyberDog has Nvidia’s brain, a large number of sensors and a servo system made by Xiaomi. It also uses open source algorithms.
- Xiaomi is providing 1,000 examples of robots to developers, engineers, and fans, but there is no news about general availability.
After establishing authority in the field of smartphones and announcing its plans for electric vehicles, Xiaomi is taking the lead in entering the field of robotics. At the launch of Mi Mix 4 on Tuesday, the company announced a surprise new member in its device bouquet-a new four-legged robot companion called CyberDog.
It is actually the same advanced mechanical pet as Boston Dynamics’s Spot, albeit a bit creepy. Nonetheless, Xiaomi believes that this robot is a testament to the company’s “engineering prowess” and a test bed for robot enthusiasts.
Let’s start with processing power. The “brain” of CyberDog consists of Nvidia’s huge Jetson Xavier NX module, which contains 384 CUDA cores, 48 Tensor cores, 6 Carmel CPU cores and two cores dedicated to deep learning. This module acquires and processes information from 11 sensors of CyberDog, which support and inform the robot’s movement around the world. The movement uses Xiaomi’s custom-developed servo system to perform techniques such as backflips and other “high-speed movements” at speeds of up to 3.2m/s (11.5 km/h or 7.15 mph).
The sensor array also utilizes multiple cameras located on the body of the robot. This includes an Intel RealSense D450 depth sensor for object tracking and obstacle avoidance. Xiaomi explained that this allows CyberDog to follow its owner and avoid traps, just like a real dog.
Having said that, CyberDog will also respond to verbal calls. The robot can be activated with a wake word or controlled by another person, and other voice commands and assistants are also compatible. There are also many I/Os available, including three USB-C ports and one HDMI port. This allows developers to add hardware or load their own software cocktail.
CyberDog prices and availability
You are unlikely to want to raise a robot dog at home, but Xiaomi’s CyberDog seems to prove the concept better than anything else. The company is distributing 1,000 CyberDogs to engineers, enthusiasts and fans to launch its own open source robot developer community. The first 1,000 units are priced at 9,999 yuan (approximately US$1,542).
It is not clear if or when Xiaomi will release CyberDog to the public. Currently, the availability of robots seems to be limited to the first launch. But don’t worry. If you really want a Xiaomi robot companion, you can grab a vacuum cleaner at any time. If you want a pet, maybe you can have a real dog?
What do you think of Xiaomi’s CyberDog? If Xiaomi launches such a product to consumers, will you buy it? Please be sure to vote in our poll above and let us know in the comments below!