Saturday, March 2, 2024

Unitree A1, the latest quadruped robot that costs less than $10k

Chinese engineers do not want to lag behind American, Korean, and Japanese in the construction of robots for special tasks. After presenting its walking robot named LaikaGo in 2018, the Chinese startup Unitree, which mainly deals with robotics, has now unveiled its latest model of the robot dog. Simply called “A1”, we are facing a robot with impressive characteristics and costing around $10,000.

It is no secret, and no one should be surprised that the engineers in the design and construction of Unitree A1 were strongly inspired by Spot from Boston Dynamics. You can even say that they copied it in large part.

The latest Unitree A1 robot is smaller and lighter than the Spot robot dog, but they are not inferior to the system of moving in even the most difficult terrain. The Unitree A1 robot dog is equipped with front cameras, which are its eyes. It can record everything it sees in real-time in HD resolution. When standing, it measures 500 mm long by 300 wide by 400 high. Its total weight is about 5 kg, and the internal battery lasts from one to two and a half hours. Rather fast, in fact, it can travel up to 3.3 meters per second (11.88 km/h).

The Unitree A1 robot dog is equipped with front cameras which are its eyes.
The Unitree A1 robot dog is equipped with front cameras which are its eyes.

Thanks to flexible limbs and a powerful motor – it can perform all kinds of jumps and tricks. Moreover, on each paw, there are sensors that send data to the motor and make movement even more efficient.

The purpose of the Unitree is to create robots that are socially useful for many tasks. For example, they should involve people through verbal or non-verbal gestures and other social cues as well as through verbal interaction. These robots are equipped with a four-legged “self-riding” system. A1 is a robot capable of performing complex movements with the legs that can interact in different environments and in real-time.

For now, you can see them on a short video material that appeared on the company’s official YouTube channel.

Unitree Robotics intends to start selling more robo dogs all over the world this year. The exact retail price of the Unitree A1 has not yet been determined, but the company is promised that it will be less than $10,000.