Xiaomi has announced the Xiaomi CyberDog, a robot that will compete with Boston Dynamics but at a fraction of the cost. The CyberDog, which was announced today alongside the Xiaomi Mix 4 smartphone, will cost RMB 9,999, or about $1,600.
In comparison, a Boston Dynamics Spot robot dog costs around $70,000. The difference is that Xiaomi is expecting CyberDog owners to do some of the heavy liftings in terms of programming.
Xiaomi is forming its own community of robotics developers who will be able to share activity modules and other components they create. The software runs on a 128GB “near industrial-grade” SSD and an NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX chipset, which Xiaomi claims has 21 TOPS of pricing power thanks to its 384 CUDA cores, 48 Tensor Cores, and twin deep learning acceleration engines.
Unsurprisingly, the CyberDog is based on a quadruped animal. Xiaomi has added various cameras and other sensors similar to those found in smartphones to the Intel RealSense D450 Depth camera on the front. Binocular ultra-wide fisheye lenses, ultrasonic senses, GPS, and touch sensors, as well as a six microphone array, are all included.
Xiaomi appears to have developed its own servo motors for movement. They have a maximum torque output of 32 Nm and can rotate at up to 220 rpm, allowing the CyberDog to travel at speeds of up to 3.2 meters per second – or more than 7 miles per hour. It can also perform complex movements such as backflips. It can carry a payload of up to 3 kg (6.6 pounds).
Action modules for autonomous object tracking, SLAM, and centimeter-scale obstacle avoidance and navigation have been developed by Xiaomi. According to the company, CyberDog is capable of analyzing its surroundings in real-time, as well as generating navigational maps and plotting a course to its destination while avoiding obstacles. It can detect and track an owner using facial recognition, following them through rooms while avoiding potential obstacles.
There’s also voice assistant integration for hands-free control, in addition to the included remote and Xiaomi’s CyberDog smartphone app. Xiaomi has also left the door open for the addition of additional sensors or peripherals. For example, there are three USB Type-C ports and an HDMI port, allowing owners to attach anything from a searchlight to a panoramic or motion camera, or even LIDAR.
To begin, Xiaomi says it will release 1,000 CyberDog units at a cost of RMB 9,999 each. Unfortunately, there is no word on availability outside of China at this time.