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