- Xiaomi has announced its first quadruped robot in the form of a mechanical dog.
- The aptly named CyberDog features a brain by Nvidia, a host of sensors, and servos made by Xiaomi. It also uses open-source algorithms.
- Xiaomi is giving 1,000 examples of the robot to developers, engineers, and fans, but there’s no word on general availability.
After stamping its authority on the smartphone world and announcing its electric cars plans, Xiaomi is jumping head-first into the robotics space. At its Mi Mix 4 launch on Tuesday, the company announced a surprise new addition to its device bouquet — a new quadruped robot companion called CyberDog.
It’s effectively an advanced mechanical pet in the same vein as Boston Dynamics’ Spot, albeit a little creepier. Nevertheless, Xiaomi believes that this robot is a testament to the company’s “engineering prowess” and serves as a test bench for robotic enthusiasts.
Let’s start with the processing power. CyberDog’s “brain” consists of Nvidia’s hefty Jetson Xavier NX module, which packs 384 CUDA cores, 48 Tensor cores, six Carmel CPU cores, and two cores dedicated to deep learning. This module grabs and crunches information from CyberDog’s 11 sensors which enables and informs the robot’s movement through the world. That movement uses Xiaomi’s custom-developed servos to perform tricks like backflips and other “high-speed movements” at up to 3.2m/s (11.5 km/h or 7.15 mph).
The sensor array also utilizes several cameras positioned on the robot’s body. This includes an Intel RealSense D450 depth sensor which enables object tracking and obstacle avoidance. Xiaomi explains that this allows CyberDog to follow its owner and avoid pitfalls, much like a real dog.
Speaking of which, CyberDog also responds to verbal calls. The robot can be activated using a wake word, or controlled by others, while other voice commands and assistants are also compatible. There’s plenty of I/O available, too, including three USB-C ports and an HDMI port. This allows developers to add-on hardware or onboard their own software cocktails.
CyberDog price and availability
It’s unlikely that you’d want a robotic dog in your home, but Xiaomi’s CyberDog seems a proof of concept more than anything else. The company is dishing out 1,000 CyberDogs to engineers, enthusiasts, and fans to kick-start its own open-source robotics developer community. These first 1,000 units will be sold for 9,999 yuan (~$1,542).
There’s no word if or when Xiaomi will release CyberDog to the public. For now, the robot’s availability seems to be limited to this initial rollout. But don’t fret. If you really want a Xiaomi robot companion, you can always grab a vacuum cleaner. And if you want a pet, maybe get a real dog?
What do you think of Xiaomi’s CyberDog? Would you buy such a product if Xiaomi released it to consumers? Be sure to vote in our poll above, and let us know in the comments below!