Xiaomi announces CyberDog ground-based robot

Xiaomi Cyberdog

A company known for products ranging from phones to air fryers to security cameras has taken a bold, four-legged step into the world of robotics. Xiaomi has announced the CyberDog, an Open-Source ground-based robot.

The world of robotics is growing at a phenomenal pace. Of course, robotics is a very broad term. But we’re thinking specifically of the kinds of robots that fly (drones), walk (ground-based robots like Spot), or move on or even under the water. Such machines, as you know, are increasingly being used by Enterprise clients (construction, industrial), First Responders, scientific researchers, and more. All of them have one thing in common: They gather meaningful data the user wants to obtain.

And now there’s been an announcement by Xiaomi that it will produce Cyberdog – a ground-based robot.

Xiaomi

Xiaomi is best known for phones, though it makes a number of other consumer electronic products. In fact, yesterday it announced a new phone, the Xiaomi MIX4:

Oh, and we have a robot in the works…

Later in the day, the Xiaomi Twitter account dropped news, as a casual aside, that it’s going to be releasing something else: The CyberDog ground robot. To say the least, we found this of greater significance than the phone announcement:

Whaaaaat?

Yes, a robot that looks not dissimilar to Spot, the famous Boston Dynamics machine. A second Tweet contained more deets:

Are there details about Xiaomi’s CyberDog ground robot?

Well, we did find a launch video that shows some impressive tricks, but so far haven’t seen anything official from Xiaomi on its site. In fact, its list of global products does not include the CyberDog.

We’ve seen a couple of sources quote a list price of $1,540 or thereabouts.

Is this a competitor for Spot?

Well, that all depends on what you’re after. Spot is a very sophisticated robot and can be configured for many different kinds of data acquisition, including LiDAR scans. CyberDog, meanwhile, is Open-Source, meaning a lot of coders out there will be eager to create applications that can take full advantage of whatever its capabilities are.

Might CyberDog be useful for perimeter inspection? We don’t see why not. But it’s unlikely to truly compete with Spot when it comes to high-end industrial applications. It’s also worth noting that while CyberDog did some cool tricks in the demo, we didn’t truly see what it can do in terms of industrial applications.

That being said…

If the $1,540 price tag is accurate, this is still pretty wild. And if Xiaomi gets some traction and believes there’s a bigger market it can pursue, it likely will. As we move inexorably into the future, it’s clear that the combination of ground-based robots with flying robots is going to become part of the workflow for some Enterprise clients – as well as First Responders. That’s why, as we reported yesterday, DroneDeploy just announced its acquisition of ground robotics software company Rocos.

We particularly envision a future where systems like these work autonomously, sensing their environment, understanding it, and using Machine Vision and Machine Learning for change detection – with all data seamlessly integrated to produce meaningful results. CyberDog may or may not be part of this, pending capabilities and sensors.

However, you can bet that if CyberDog has pups someday, they’ll be able to do even more.

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