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You too can have a Short King humanoid robot

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Person holding Unitree G1 robot

Does anyone want to buy a humanoid robot for $16,000? Unitree’s latest product is waiting for you to: Learn about the Unitree G1, a “humanoid agent AI avatar,” also known as a robot. If you haven’t heard of Unitree, it’s sort of a “cheap Chinese option” in the robot space. You’re going to have to deal with company promotional materials that are barely written in English, but you get some awesome and profitable robots. You may have seen the Spot Unitree Go2 knockoff, a $1,600 robot dog that several resellers have equipped with a flamethrower or just directly military rifles.

Unitree’s promotional video shows off some impressive capabilities for such a cheap robot. It can stand up on its own from a flat position on the ground. Like the recent Boston Dynamics Atlas Video, the G1 rises in probably the strangest way possible. While face up on the floor, the G1 raises its knees, places its feet on the floor, and then pushes its feet up to form a tripod with its head still on the floor. From there, use a limbo-like motion to lean your knees forward, lifting your head and torso with all your core strength.

Photography: Unitree

The G1 is a budget robot, so the walk cycle is somewhat primitive. Walks, stands and “runs” in a standing half-squat with legs forward and knees bent the entire time. The balance seems excellent, though: at one point a person appears and roughs up the robot a bit, kicking it in the back and punching it in the chest. In both cases, he absorbs the abuse with just a step or two back and continues to move forward.

So, is this humanoid robot… useful? It’s a toy? A big limitation in the real world is his height, a diminutive 4’2″, which will make many tasks difficult. If you ask the usual question “Can he wash dishes?” (assuming water won’t be a problem), you’ll first have than expect it to be able to reach the bottom of the sink. It will be difficult for it to reach the bottom shelf of a kitchen cabinet. Maybe you can teach it to use a stool. However, by lowering the price, Unitree’s other humanoid robot. the H1It’s adult size, but it also costs $90,000.

As for other specifications in the confusing and poorly put together spec sheet, it has a 9000 mAh battery that lasts two hours. The weight is listed as 35kg and 47kg depending on where you look, so it’s in the range of 77 to 104 pounds. We obtain model numbers of actual components for the vision system: a Intel RealSense D435 depth camera and a Livox-MID360 lidar disk. The location of the lidar disk is interesting. The robot’s face is made of clear glass and the head is hollow, except for a “brain” part on the top of the head. The lidar disk is mounted on the bottom of the brain and looks through the front of the front glass to see forward. Robot design is strange.

The robot can run at 2 meters per second or 4.4 miles per hour. That’s about a slow jog. If the “maximum arm load” on the spec sheet is how much it can lift, it can lift 2kg, or just 4.4 pounds. All joints are in a range of 160 to 310 degrees. You’ll have to do a lot of programming for this to be useful, but Unitree isn’t very forthcoming about how you’re supposed to do it. Presumably you will use the same Unitree SDK that robot dogs use. You can also poke around in the developer documentation the Unitree H1 to get an idea of ​​what awaits you.

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