Xiaomi’s New Bionic Four-Legged CyberDog Robot Review

At the press conference held by Xiaomi on the night of August 10, Lei Jun brought the CyberDog quadruped robot developed by Xiaomi, nicknamed “Iron Egg” . This robot is equipped with a high-precision environmental perception system. It has 11 high-precision sensors throughout the body transmit information to the AI ​​brain in real time. At the same time, it has a bionic movement gait that can follow instructions, recognize the owner, and follow the owner’s autonomous movement.

After the release of the Xiaomi CyberDog robot, science fiction writer Liu Cixin recorded a video, praised the robot. He said: “Technology and science fiction are both extensions of human imagination and are closely related to human life in the future. Technology has transformed science fiction in many ways . Come reality.” Liu Cixin said that more and more Chinese companies are joining this field. The Chinese name of CyberDog released by Xiaomi is very interesting, called Tiedan. He congratulated Xiaomi for taking another step in this field, and looked forward to Xiaomi’s continued surprises.

Cyberdog is an intelligent robotic dog from Xiaomi

A new four-legged robot called CyberDog is an experimental product with “open-source” software that Xiaomi says has unpredictable customization options. If you know the Spot robot from the well-known company Boston Dynamics, this is basically its distant cousin.

It is an alternative, but also a competition against the Spot robot. Which started selling last year for almost 75 thousand US dollars. The Robot Spot from Boston Dynamics was used for various rescue purposes, to connect with a patient in difficult terrain, to survey mined sites. But the military also tested it. It is not yet clear for what purpose the Chinese Xiaomi is developing its robot.

In the press release, the manufacturer emphasizes the “open-source” nature of the software of this product. The manufacturer revealed that so far it has released only 1000 units for the amount of 9999 yuan (about $ 1500) for selected Xiaomi fans, engineers and robotic enthusiasts.

It is this community that should drive the development and potential of these so-called “Robotic dogs.” The final selling price for other applicants is not yet known.

In addition, the manufacturer emphasizes the “nature of the pet.”  CyberDog he has the ability to respond to voice commands and can also follow his owner, just like a real live dog.

Powerful

CyberDog is calibrated with Xiaomi’s in-house developed servo motors that translates into great speed, agility, and a wide range of motion. CyberDog has built-in Xiaomi self-developed high-performance servo motor. The latter can provide a maximum output torque of 32N·m, a maximum speed of 220rpm and a maximum walking speed of 3.2m/s. Which can ensure high torque and high-speed performance at the same time, and achieve smart response. Powerful performance support allows CyberDog to easily complete various high-speed sports and backflips and other difficult actions.

CyberDog

If the motor is likened to the “heart”, then the edge AI supercomputer is the “brain” of CyberDog. It is equipped with NVIDIA JETSON XAVIER NX platform, built-in 384 CUDA® Cores, 48 ​​Tensor Cores, 6 Carmel ARM CPUs . It also has two deep learning acceleration engines, which can process massive amounts of data from multiple sensors. For its owners, CyberDog processes massive data captured from its sensor system without a hitch. It also uses motors with a 32nm maximum torque, is topped with a large array of camera and imaging sensors and even has 128GB on-board storage.

According to Xiaomi’s presentation, the machine mutt can connect to your smartphone, has algorithms to detect and understand motion as well as speech. They designed it to look like a dog. It seems that used a lot AI.

Precise, Agile

Xiaomi has developed action modules for things like autonomous object tracking, SLAM, and centimeter-scale obstacle avoidance and navigation. CyberDog is capable of analyzing its surroundings in real-time, the company promises, along with generating navigational maps . And it plottes a course to its destination, avoiding obstacles on the way. With facial recognition, it can spot and track an owner. It can follow them through rooms while working its way around potential obstructions. In addition to the included remote, and Xiaomi’s CyberDog smartphone app, there’s voice assistant integration for hands-free control. Xiaomi is also leaving the path open to adding more sensors or peripherals.

The sensor determines the upper limit of CyberDog’s perception ability. CyberDog has a built-in high-precision environmental perception system that can restore more realistic biological responses. It has 11 high-precision sensors on standby all over the body, which can actively detect subtle external changes. These include touch sensors, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, GPS modules, etc., based on which  you can  derive it more biologically intuitive interactive functions, as well as environmental perception and analysis capabilities.

To fully model biological organisms, CyberDog is equipped with 11 high-precision sensors which provide instant feedback to guide its movements. This includes touch sensors, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, GPS modules, and more, giving the CyberDog enhanced capability to sense, analyze, and interact with its environment.

Computer Vision to Personalize Interactions

Thanks to Xiaomi’s smartphone imaging technology, CyberDog has enhanced capability to perceive its surroundings. 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. Moreover you can train it with its computer vision algorithm.

Built upon this vision sensor system are autonomous object tracking, SLAM, and centimeter-scale obstacle avoidance and navigation. This means that 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.

CyberDog

To add to its pet-like nature, users can use voice assistants to command and control CyberDog by setting a wake word, or simply use its accompanying remote and smartphone app. You can call CyberDog on for the most unique tasks, and the ways in which it can be interacted with holds unforetold possibilities.

So what do all these tech words and specs mean? Well, as well as showing us a video, Xiaomi did an on-stage presentation. And that’s where the CyberDog turned from Boston Dynamics super-smart potentially-future-humanity-ending Spot, to a cute little Furby.

What can the robot see?

As we already mentioned Xiaomi packed a bunch of camera sensors in the Cyberdog: “AI interactive cameras, binocular ultra-wide angle fisheye cameras, and Intel RealSense D450 Depth module.” Furthermore, its computer vision algorithm lets developers train the robot. The CyberDog features three USB-C ports and an HDMI connector, so you can hook it up to other devices.

Thanks to the camera array, the CyberDog can track objects, locate and map locations, avoid obstacles, and navigate surroundings:

This means that 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.

The robot will respond to voice commands, and a companion app will also let you control your Xiaomi pet.

Super vision, intelligent interactive companionship

CyberDog has a built-in super-sensing visual detection system. That can realize autonomous recognition and follow, SLAM mapping and navigation obstacle avoidance functions. At the technical level, Xiaomi uses human form detection technology and pedestrian re-recognition technology to ensure the stability of the following function. The use of face recognition technology makes CyberDog pet-like features to meet the needs of following the owner’s scene. Finally, it can follow the owner in an open and flat outdoor environment. With the cooperation of multiple sensors, it can perceive the current environment. The latter can create a navigation map through algorithms, and automatically plan the optimal route to the next target point. It can automatically avoid obstacles during navigation and following.

CyberDog

Users can control CyberDog through voice, remote control, and mobile phone. Users can give instructions to CyberDog through the “iron egg iron egg” wake-up word. At present, Xiaomi Smart Voice has been applied to 8 interactive scenarios, with access to over 72 categories and more than 3000 devices. Now, this technology will use temperature-based communication to awaken a new way of intelligent life in the future.

CyberDog has a wealth of peripheral expansion capabilities. It has 3 Type-C and 1 HDMI ports, and you can connect it to a variety of expansion devices. You can connect it to  searchlights, panoramic cameras, sports cameras, and lidars to create more application scenarios. It also supports life waterproofing, and can cope with a variety of complex use environments. 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 search light, panoramic camera, motion camera, LiDAR, or more.

Scalable Open Source Platform for Devising New Abilities

The advancement of robotics involves various frontier fields and is currently in a stage of global co-creation. Through open source, Xiaomi encourages developers from around the world to contribute to this field, communicate with each other, and progress together.

They built CyberDog upon open source algorithms, with Xiaomi reconstructing and optimizing in-house developed core modules. Today, Xiaomi is releasing 1,000 units of CyberDog at RMB 9,999 to Xiaomi Fans, engineers, and robotic enthusiasts to jointly explore the immense possibility of CyberDog. It will also set up the “Xiaomi Open Source Community” to constantly share progress and results with developers around the world. And  also promises to establish a robotics laboratory to provide a platform for engineers to continue the pursuit of future innovations.

Open source co-creation, explore unlimited possibilities

Bionic robots involve various frontier fields and are currently in the stage of global co-creation. A large number of developers contribute to this field through open source, communicate with each other, and make rapid progress. Some of the algorithms in CyberDog originate from the open source community, and Xiaomi will also set up a “Xiaomi Open Source Community” . It can provide technical feedback and promote common progress in the field.

Based on the open source code in various fields of robotics, Xiaomi has done a lot of refactoring and optimization improvements. At the same time, it has also completely developed some core modules by itself. Xiaomi will continue to share some of these results with more developers through open source methods. Xiaomi will also set up a Xiaomi Robot Lab to invite more engineers to explore a cooler and more fun future.

Do a jump, CyberDog

Adverts are designed to make a product seem cooler than it actually is. And Xiaomi following its flashy intro video with a showcase of CyberDog’s tricks in real-time really humanized – or ‘dogized’ – the pup.

CyberDog performed tricks like slowly rotating to view who was talking. And doing a weird little jiggle, as if trying to shake off water that wasn’t there. And it sat up on its hind legs and clapped, at the behest of the controller. Oh, and it did a backflip, though CyberDog looked as surprised as anyone else that it didn’t fall apart afterwards.

So, CyberDog isn’t a super-smart mechanical assistant which will prowl the streets with you, clean your house, or help you survive in a post-apocalypse when all the machines (except CD, of course) rise up. If you’re looking for that, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

The release of CyberDog by Xiaomi is very interesting, though not necessarily as a product in its own right. Instead, it says a lot about the current robotics landscape and the accessibility of this tech. So, do you love  Xiaomi’s new Cyberdog? let us know in comment section. In addition if you have any questions or suggestions you  can also drop them in comment section. And if you don’t have one, you can read our article about Google Tensor and Snapdragon 888 Plus.

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