Robotics

Unitree's latest quadruped robot could be yours for under 10 grand

Unitree's latest quadruped rob...
The Unitree A1's quadruped gait allows it to go places and do things that would be impossible with a wheeled robot
The Unitree A1's quadruped gait allows it to go places and do things that would be impossible with a wheeled robot
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The Unitree A1's quadruped gait allows it to go places and do things that would be impossible with a wheeled robot
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The Unitree A1's quadruped gait allows it to go places and do things that would be impossible with a wheeled robot

About a year ago, we got a firsthand look at Unitree's Laikago quadruped robot. And while it was impressive, it also packed a US$45,000 price tag. Now, though, the Chinese company has announced a new model that costs less than 10,000 bucks.

Essentially a humbler version of the Laikago (which was named after a Cosmonaut dog), the A1 can carry a maximum payload of 5 kg (11 lb), and has a top walking speed of 3.3 meters per second (10.8 ft/s). One charge of its lithium battery pack should reportedly be good for one to 2.5 hours of runtime.

Including that battery, the robot weighs 12 kg (26.5 lb). When standing, it measures 500 mm long by 300 wide by 400 high (1.6 by 1 by 1.3 ft).

By contrast, the latest version of the slightly larger Laikago can carry 9 kg (19.8 lb) of cargo, it's able to scuttle around for up to three hours per charge, and it tips the scales at 22 kg (48.5 lb). Perhaps because of that higher weight, though, it's slower, with a top speed of 1.4 m/s (4.6 ft/s).

The A1 perceives its environment via dual depth-sensing cameras, transmitting live HD video back to a human operator – it can also operate autonomously, and its RTOS (real-time operating system) even includes a mode in which the robot will track and follow a specific person.

You can see just how nimble the A1's quadruped gait allows it to be, in the video below.

Source: Unitree via IEEE Spectrum

Quadruped robot A1 walk with you to the future

3 comments
paul314
Ooh. That's long enough for a real walk, or for a bunch of autonomous actions. Now all it needs is either a cup-holder or a disintegrator.
los_kiosk
The ability to carry 9kg of cargo doesn't impress me much. When it can schlep a 22Kg (45lb) Fender Deluxe guitar amp up the back stairs of pub for me without dropping it, then I'll be impressed! Until then, the wife's job is still safe :-)
ljaques
Oh, great. They make a known very-bad behavior in the robot, attacking another of its kind. Beautiful. (Life's too short to suffer pet owners slash programmers.)