And TechStorm was given the opportunity to get up close and personal with it!
First revealed last August, the CyberDog marked Xiaomi’s first foray into quadruped robotics for the open-source community and developers.
Just coming up to my knee, there’s something strangely endearing about this tanky robotic canine.
Nicknamed Iron Egg in Mandarin, it can sit, stay, beg and even shake its little robotic nub of a paw on demand – all while controlled by an engineer, of course.
The Cyberdog can also be programmed to roll, much like a trained animal and calling its name twice will result in it barking mechanically at you.
Go to pet it on its blunt-shaped cybernetic head, and instead staring into a dog’s limpid eyes, you’ll be faced (no pun intended) with an array of cameras and sensors.
Nicolas Shi, the Country Manager for Singapore and Malaysia for Xiaomi International, told TechStorm the cybernetic canine was built using open-source algorithms, and is powered by an “AI-optimised ‘supercomputer’, consisting of a multitude of cores, processors and deep learning engines.”
The robotic canine has 11 sensors to process data, including cameras from Xiaomi’s imaging tech division, GPS modules, touch and ultrasonic sensors.
“Some of the technology used in the CyberDog can be found in existing Xiaomi products too,” said Nicolas. “For example, the CyberDog uses Xiaomi’s smartphone imaging technology for enhanced capability to check out its surroundings.”
The CyberDog has been touted by Xiaomi as a “bold step in the exploration of future technology”.
Nicolas said the company envisioned the robotic canine as “providing a platform for the open-source community and engineers to explore the possibilities of technology”.
He also said the CyberDog “is a human-friendly robot that can behave playfully, including its ability to respond to voice commands and follow its owner like a real dog.”
This is not the first time robotic dogs have been envisioned – Boston Dynamic has Spot, touted as an agile, mobile robot that could complement the way we work.
(If you find Spot rather familiar, it’s because it inspired a 2017 episode of Black Mirror – you can catch that episode on 15 August at 2130SGT on our channel!)
But unlike Spot, the CyberDog isn’t quite ready for the masses yet.
Nicolas told us that for now, Xiaomi’s CyberDog will remain as a conceptual technology – a reminder of the endless possibilities of technology – and said “while it’s up for debate if a robot like this will ever roam out homes alongside our actual living and breathing pets, it’s astonishing just how quickly technology like this can go from more expensive than a car to a potential luxury smart home item. Who knows, maybe in the future we’ll have robot dogs running Android with us all day instead of smartphones.”
A little something to look forward to.
*Featured image from Xiaomi
By Samantha Chan \ 12:00, 30 June 2022