You probably know In law, Boston Dynamics’ highly advanced and nightmarish robot dog. And although it went on sale last year, few of us have an additional $ 74,500 hang around to buy one. However, Chinese company Unitree Robotics has a similar four-legged bot that’s not only a fraction of the size, but it also starts at just $ 2,700. For an advanced robot dog, this is actually quite affordable.
Unitree Go1 is also technically impressive. In one video, you can see the bot walking alongside its “owner” while automatically avoiding obstacles in its path. Unitree calls it an “intelligent side tracking” system, and it supposedly uses “patented wireless vector positioning and control” technology. It also has what Unitree calls a “super sensory system,” or five sets of fisheye stereo depth cameras and three sets of hypersonic sensors. The company also says the Go1 has a new power seal with a built-in heat pipe cooling system. Overall, he looks impressive, given that he doesn’t break during a backflip of a checkout tower or when a jerk pulls one up and spins it by his back leg.
The video also shows the Go1 operation, yes run alongside a person with speeds ranging from 2.5 meters per second (5.6 mph) to 3.7 m / s (6 mph), depending on the model. So yeah, as long as you keep running at a moderate speed this little guy can keep up. The Go1 is also pictured carrying a small basket of groceries and a water bottle on its back. Unitree’s datasheet states that the robot’s payload ranges from 3 kg (6.6 pounds) to 5 kg (11 pounds), again depending on the model. It’s not too ugly. However, we don’t know anything about battery life.
There are three versions of the Go1, with the entry-level Go1 Air costing $ 2,700. The mid-range Go1 is a bit more expensive at $ 3,500 but supports human recognition, has a few more sensors and better processing power, and runs a bit faster. The more expensive version, the Go1 Edu, starts at $ 8,500 and is the most robust in terms of components and also comes with 4G / 5G and Lidar, among other features. Is it still expensive? Well yeah. But when you consider how much Spot costs and that Sony is cute but still a bit useless Aibo robot dog costs $ 2,900 (not including cloud subscription fees) … it’s surprisingly affordable, though perhaps a little too good to be true.
Yet it is not this expensive when you consider the lifetime costs of a real dog. According to American Kennel Club, a medium-sized dog with an average life expectancy of 13 years will cost an average of $ 15,782. Forbes put the number much, much higher between $ 1,570 per year, or $ 83,000 for city dwellers over the lifespan of a big dog. To be fair, a robot dog would likely require some sort of maintenance, but at least you can avoid the expense of walks, boarding, grooming, vet visits, dental cleaning, medication, pet insurance. companionship and surgeries. In contrast, the Go1 doesn’t look like a good cuddly buddy.