Richard Lai

Xiaomi beats Tesla to building a working robot

Forget about that crazy-thin foldable phone from earlier. Xiaomi just beat Tesla to unveiling a working humanoid robot prototype at a live event earlier today, and yes, it looks awfully familiar. The Xiaomi CyberOne is 177cm (5.8 feet) tall, weighs 52kg (115 pounds), is nicknamed “Metal Bro” and is also somehow given a zodiac sign, Leo. After a short walk to the middle of the stage, the CyberOne gave CEO Lei Jun a flower (for some reason), before it politely accepted a selfie with the man responsible for its very own existence. The bot was able to walk off the stage without any drama.

The CyberOne is the second product coming out of the Xiaomi Robotics Lab, after the CyberDog from August 2021. The humanoid machine has a face in the form of a curved OLED panel, it can see the world in 3D, hear with two microphones and identify 45 types of emotions from human vocal expressions. Its body has a total of 21 degrees of freedom, which are enabled by 13 joints. Its upper limb actuators can operate with a precision of up to 1Nm for a gentle touch, and its legs are powered by actuators rated at up to 300Nm. But of course, the CyberOne is clearly nowhere near as nimble as Boston Dynamics’ Atlas.

Despite the surprising live demo, Lei said that for now, each CyberOne would cost somewhere in the range of 600,000 to 700,000 yuan (about $89,100 to $104,000), so it’ll be a while before his company deems it suitable for mass production, if ever. It’ll be interesting to see how Elon Musk responds to this lookalike of his own big boy, though he’s probably a little distracted these days.

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