Xiaomi Vice President Chang Chen published a post on the Chinese social network Weibo, in which he revealed some details about the development of the CyberDog robot. This product came as a surprise to the flagship smartphone and tablet PC announced at a recent event.
Robot CyberDog appeared as a small project of Xiaomi engineers, which they did in their free time. The decision to launch the product on the market was made after the authors of the project expressed their willingness to invest not only their free time in it, but also turn it into something more. This is a kind of company’s investment in the future. According to Chang Cheng, such robots in general have great potential for use in various purely practical areas, such as services, engineering, security and medicine.
Since Xiaomi is a global technology company with a wide profile, it needs to implement modern technological solutions without delay, as well as consolidate its patent reserve. The top manager of Xiaomi explained that the development of such robots affects areas such as machine vision, autonomous navigation, overcoming obstacles, voice algorithms based on artificial intelligence, as well as many other technologies that can later be used in mobile phones, smart home components and other areas.
There is no exhaustive list of features and functions of CyberDog yet. Even after entering the market, such a project will still be of an exploratory nature. But it embodies a number of Xiaomi technologies, including facial recognition, human recognition, as well as human tracking, which allows the robot to follow its owner.
The machine is equipped with an obstacle avoidance system and the ability to build maps of buildings and premises. There is a voice assistant function that is called upon the request «CyberDog», the machine can check the weather forecast or help with the control of smart home components. It is important that the source codes of the software platform are available to everyone, so if you have the technical skills, anyone can expand the range of available robot functions.
CyberDog was conceived from the start as an open source project, and at a price of 9,999 yuan (about $1,500), it is being implemented at a cost or even a loss. Xiaomi aimed to create a full-fledged hardware platform that will help developers discover the new possibilities of such robots for themselves. It has a full set of engines, many sensors and interfaces on board. Source codes are available for CyberDog motion algorithms, and the software platform is ROS 2, a specialized operating system for robots that has become an industry standard. This simplifies the project development task for engineers and enthusiasts.
According to a Xiaomi spokesperson, at the moment, almost the entire bionic robot industry is in a state of global cooperation. Therefore, by opening the source codes of the machine and providing additional opportunities for the development of the entire industry, Xiaomi is betting on becoming one of the main driving forces in it.