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CyberDog from Xiaomi

On August 10, 2021, at the Xiaomi Autumn Conference, a series of new Xiaomi products were released, including CyebrDog, its first open-source four-legged robot. Xiaomi 'CyberDog' boasts an economical price tag of just $1,540, compared to Boston Dynamics Spot's whopping $74,500.

This CyberDog has a total of 11 high-precision sensors and self-developed high-performance servo motors for sensing image, light, distance, speed, sound and other environmental information, so that it can follow instructions, automatically avoid obstacles, and complete various high-speed sports difficult actions such as backflips and backflips can even identify the owner and automatically follow the owner's movement. At the same time, users can wake up CyberDog by voice to control more than 72 categories and more than 3000 smart devices.

Xiaomi says CyberDog is nimble enough to perform backflips, has a maximum payload of 3kg, and can trot along at speeds of 3.2m/s (compared to Spot’s 1.6m/s). It’s powered by Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier AI platform and is equipped with an array of cameras and sensors. These include touch sensors, a GPS module, an ultra-wide-angle fisheye lens, and Intel’s RealSense D450 camera for depth-sensing. These components enable the robot to navigate semi-autonomously.“CyberDog can analyze its surroundings in real-time, create navigational maps, plot its destination, and avoid obstacles. Coupled with human posture and face recognition tracking, CyberDog is capable of following its owner and darting around obstructions,” says Xiaomi. The machine can also respond to voice commands, including recognizing wake words and instructions, or it can be controlled using a connected smartphone app. CyberDog also has three USB-C ports and one HDMI port, which Xiaomi says can be used to customize its hardware. The company suggests lidar sensors, panoramic cameras, and search lights could all be added to the robot.

There is a huge market in the bionic robot industry. According to the report, the global professional service robot market spawned by bionic robots will reach 170 billion U.S. dollars in 2030, far exceeding the market scale of industrial robots and auxiliary robots. The data shows that as of 2019, the size of China's bionic robot market is only 4.25 billion U.S. dollars. In the future, Chinese market has huge room for phenomena. Driven by technology and under the influence of market dividends, China's future bionic robot market will usher in a rapid heating up.

It is important to point out that although Xiaomi has taken the first step on the bionic robot track, according to Xiaomi's official statement, CyberDog's core algorithm is based on an open source project. According to the analysis, the robot control algorithm is most likely to come from Boston Dynamics, because from the appearance, cyberdog is very similar to the Spot of Boston Dynamics, and the control algorithm largely limits the change of appearance. That is to say, the core technology of Xiaomi's CyberDog (similar to the mobile phone operating system) is not competitive, and it can even be said that the technical content is high. And this is extremely risky to the future development of the product. We can refer to Huawei's mobile phone and eventually it had to develop the HarmonyOS system by itself.

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