Robotics

Video: $16k G1 humanoid rises up to smash nuts, twist and twirl

Video: $16k G1 humanoid rises up to smash nuts, twist and twirl
Flexible joint and internal "hollow joint" wiring "unlock unlimited movement ability"
Flexible joint and internal "hollow joint" wiring "unlock unlimited movement ability"
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Flexible joint and internal "hollow joint" wiring "unlock unlimited movement ability"
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Flexible joint and internal "hollow joint" wiring "unlock unlimited movement ability"
Unitree's upcoming G1 Humanoid Agent has a starting price of $16k
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Unitree's upcoming G1 Humanoid Agent has a starting price of $16k
The G1 humanoid demonstrates its kitchen skills by bashing the hell out of innocent walnuts
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The G1 humanoid demonstrates its kitchen skills by bashing the hell out of innocent walnuts
The G1 humanoid will be taught new tasks in a simulated environment through reinforcement learning and by copying the actions of others
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The G1 humanoid will be taught new tasks in a simulated environment through reinforcement learning and by copying the actions of others
The G1 humanoid can collapse itself down for between-use transport
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The G1 humanoid can collapse itself down for between-use transport
Just chillin on the sofa between tasks
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Just chillin on the sofa between tasks
G1 strikes an immodest pose, demonstrating its otherworldly 360-degree joints
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G1 strikes an immodest pose, demonstrating its otherworldly 360-degree joints
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Humanoid development at Chinese robotics company Unitree continues apace. Following its entry into the melee just last year, its fast-walking H1 bot recently got its backflip groove on. Now the faceless and hand-less humanoid is being joined by an impressive all-rounder.

Until fairly recently, Unitree's focus seemed to be on developing ever more capable robo-dogs like the Go2 and B2. Its commercially available quadrupeds have since been used as the basis for some rather worrying applications – such as the flamethrowing Thermonator and that time the US Marines strapped a M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon rocket launcher to its back, though we've also seen the company's robo-pooches put to good use since we first spotted one at ICRA 2019.

By the time the H1 scuttled its way into the humanoid party, development from other companies like Boston Dynamics, Figure, Sanctuary AI and Tesla was well underway. But Unitree has caught up pretty quickly, and has now released the first few details on its second model – the G1 Humanoid Agent.

Unitree Introducing | Unitree G1 Humanoid Agent | AI Avatar | Price from $16K

Where the H1's price tag was set at US$90,000 with up to 10 years of wait time, the G1 is pitched a whole lot cheaper at $16,000 (starting price). That's still a lot of change, but a comparative bargain for those in the market for a robot helper, assembly line operative or research tool.

Doubtless inspired by the somewhat creepy launch video for the new Atlas humanoid, Unitree's latest tin man starts its video demo looking like the victim of robocide, but then kicks back its legs and rises up to show off its "extra large joint movement."

G1 strikes an immodest pose, demonstrating its otherworldly 360-degree joints
G1 strikes an immodest pose, demonstrating its otherworldly 360-degree joints

The G1 looks like a much more complete package than the H1 before it, having been treated to a helmet head and illuminated visage (packing 3D LiDAR sensors and a depth camera) as well as human-like robotic hands for the floor exercises and three-fingered grippers to show off its skills in the home and workplace.

It can also take a beating too, recovering well after brutal kicks and punches from someone it will no doubt remember after the robot uprising.

Unitree mentions that the robot will be trained in a simulated environment using reinforcement learning and by copying others, with all new skills presumably rolled out to every humanoid over the air. Processing brains benefit from eight high-performance cores, and there's Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 onboard too.

The G1 humanoid can collapse itself down for between-use transport
The G1 humanoid can collapse itself down for between-use transport

Its joints boast between 23 and 43 degrees of freedom in total and produce a maximum torque of up to 120 Nm, it has a running speed of 2 meters per second (4.47 mph) and per-charge battery life for the 9,000-mAh pack is reckoned to be around 2 hours.

And it tips the scales at around 35 kg (though the product page specifies 47 kg/ 103.6 lb), and can fold itself down to 690 x 450 x 300-mm (27 x 17.7 x 11.8-in) proportions for compact carry, which, as you can see above, looks kinda cute if a bit strangly.

Unitree is making a standard G1 and an enhanced educational model, and the video notes that some of the functions shown are still under development. Nevertheless, it marks an impressive debut for the G1 Humanoid Agent.

Source: Unitree

View gallery - 7 images
6 comments
6 comments
Cymon Curcumin
The small size might be easier on batteries while being big enough to do most things a full size humanoid can do. Easier to maneuver and store too. I was skeptical about the Chinese national project to go big on humanoids since they have a record of promising big and delivering cheap knockoffs but so far they are starting to impress me.
Smokey_Bear
This is awesome, and the price is getting into a much better place for the consumer. But they didn't show any AI, so I'm not sure if that was all programmed, if yes, major bummer. But I don't mind the smaller size, I heard 2 hour battery, if true, that's still plenty for most people, especially if (like a Roomba) it can charge itself when it's getting low. 3 metal fingers don't seem great, but then again, the Google aloha project only had pincers, and it was pretty impressive.

I LOVE all this competition, exciting times!

The end of humans having to work for a living is coming to an end, still several years away...but under a decade!
Jim B
Wake me up when they can clean the toilet area in a Starbucks rather than doing stupid moves in a clean lab environment.
Captain Danger
Smokey,
Humans will always have to work , even if its just repairing cheap Chinese robots.
Daishi
Giving this thing access to GPT-4o to interact with video/voice would be easy since it's mostly done already. The harder part would be getting it to understand physical motion but even that is pretty doable as a basic level. You would program the robot to carry out macro instructions (stand up, move forward etc.) and then make the high-level directions available to the language model. I am sure the long tail and corner cases are hard but the basics would probably be pretty easy so that it could move around an environment and interact with people. "Telepresence" on wheels is still much easier and less complicated. That could easily be done on a budget that would allow you to walk into a store and interact with one this year.
Where'sMyHoverboard
We're going to live to regret kicking and punching them when AI becomes sentient....