Monday, December 11, 2023

Xiaomi CyberDog, an open-source quadruped robot that does backflips

Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi has forayed into the field of quadruped robotics with its first solution, the CyberDog. The new bio-inspired quadruped robot promises to mimic the movements and behavior of its natural counterpart, and it bears a lot of similarities with the impressive Spot developed by Boston Dynamics.

Xiaomi describes its CyberDog as an open-source robot companion – this means that developers from all over the world can freely work and experiment on it.

The Xiaomi CyberDog is powered by the company’s in-house servo motors that offer it great speed, agility, and a wide range of motion. With a maximum torque output and rotation speed up to 32Nm/220Rpm, CyberDog can trot along at speeds of up to 3.2m/s (11.5 km/h) and perform complicated actions such as backflips.

The robot is equipped with 11 high-precision sensors.
The robot is equipped with 11 high-precision sensors that enable it to navigate around obstacles. Credit: Xiaomi

The robot is equipped with 11 high-precision sensors that enable it to navigate around obstacles with centimeter-scale accuracy. This includes touch sensors, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, GPS modules, and more, giving the CyberDog enhanced capability to sense, analyze, and interact with its environment.

Powering CyberDog’s brain is NVIDIA’s Jetson Xavier NX supercomputer, which guides the four-legged robot through its different tasks and stores the data collected by its sensors on the 128-GB onboard SSD. It comes embedded with an array of camera sensors, including AI interactive cameras, binocular ultra-wide-angle fisheye cameras, and Intel RealSense D450 Depth module, and can be trained with its computer vision algorithm.

CyberDog climbing staircase
CyberDog can easily navigate uneven terrains. Credit: Xiaomi

In addition to doing backflips, the robot dog is trained to identify human faces and postures, patting, smiling, among other things, allowing them to interact the same way as an actual dog. CyberDog is capable of following its owner and darting around obstructions. Like a real pet, the robot will also respond to voice commands given using a six-microphone array. Another option for controlling the robot is to use the accompanying remote and smartphone app.

CyberDog is also developed with rich external interfaces that include 3 type-C ports and 1 HDMI port, so developers have the freedom to explore and integrate a wide range of innovative and creative hardware add-ons or software systems, be it a searchlight, panoramic camera, motion camera, LiDAR, or more.

According to Xiaomi, CyerDog is not intended for developers or robotics enthusiasts who want to contribute to this field, communicate with each other, and progress together. Xiaomi has launched 1,000 units of the CyberDog at a price of CN¥9,999 (approx. $1,550), aimed at “Xiaomi Fans, engineers, and robotic enthusiasts to jointly explore the immense possibility of CyberDog.”