Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Unitree debuts $16k G1 Humanoid agent AI avatar 

Chinese robotics company Unitree’s advancements in humanoid bot technology are nothing short of remarkable. Just a year after entering the scene, their H1 model is now capable of executing backflips with ease. And that’s not all; now, the faceless and hand-less humanoid is being joined by an impressive all-rounder.

Unitree has recently shifted its focus from developing robo-dogs to creating humanoid robots. While their quadrupeds have been used for questionable applications, the company has also demonstrated the potential for their technology to be used for good. 

The latest addition to their line-up, the G1 Humanoid Agent, is a significant step forward in the world of humanoid robotics. Although other companies like Boston Dynamics, Figure, Sanctuary AI, and Tesla have been leading the way, Unitree has caught up quickly, and has now released the first few details on its second model.

While the H1 robot had a price tag of $90,000 and a wait time of up to 10 years, the G1 robot is much more affordable, starting at $16,000. This could be great news for those looking for a robot helper, assembly line operator, or research tool. 

More flexible and more comfortable
More flexible and more comfortable. Credit: Unitree

The launch video for the new Atlas humanoid was quite creepy, but Unitree’s latest robot manages to show off its “extra-large joint movement” in a much more pleasant way.

The G1 is like a much more complete package with its advanced features and striking design. The helmet head and illuminated visage, equipped with 3D LiDAR sensors and a depth camera, make it a smart and efficient assistant. With human-like robotic hands, it can perform floor exercises with ease, and the three-fingered grippers allow it to showcase its skills in both home and workplace settings. Moreover, its resilience is impressive, as it can withstand brutal kicks and punches from someone with ease. 

Unitree’s advanced robot will undergo training in a simulated environment using reinforcement learning and observing others. New skills will be seamlessly deployed to every humanoid over the air. 

The robot is equipped with eight high-performance cores for powerful processing, along with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. With 23 to 43 degrees of freedom in its joints and a maximum torque of 120 Nm, it can reach a running speed of 2 meters per second (4.47 mph). The 9,000-mAh battery provides approximately 2 hours of per-charge battery life. 

Weighing around 35 kg (77 lbs), it can fold down to compact dimensions of 690 x 450 x 300 mm (27 x 17.7 x 11.8 in), making it both practical and endearing.

Unitree is in the process of creating both a standard G1 model and an enhanced educational version. The promotional video acknowledges that some of the showcased features are still in the development stage. Nonetheless, this marks a remarkable debut for the G1 Humanoid Agent.