August 14th of 2023 marked a milestone in the world of technology: Xiaomi leader Lei Jun unveiled the latest member of his innovative robotic family, the CyberDog 2, at the Communications World Network News (CWW) Conference.
This amazing bionic quadruped robot is the fruit of tireless engineering and research efforts by Xiaomi, a masterpiece of robotics.
The CyberDog 2 inherits and expands the virtues of its predecessor, undergoing a complete technical upgrade. It incorporates a new-generation high-performance engine developed by Xiaomi, which endows it with more powerful dynamic responsiveness and enables it to perform more complex actions.
Additionally, the revamped 19 A sensor system, along with an artificial intelligence-based voice interaction system connected to Xiao Ai's capabilities, takes the CyberDog’s bionic motion abilities and interactive experience to a much higher level.
Customizable and lighter design
CyberDog 2 is a highly bionic quadruped robot whose design is deeply inspired by the natural world. In contrast to its predecessor, CyberDog 2 is noticeably more compact, with a 16% reduction in size and a decrease in weight by nearly 40%.
Aesthetically, the CyberDog 2's head is reminiscent of a Doberman or Pinscher, while the proportions of the legs and waist have been adjusted to achieve a more realistic and natural look, bringing it closer to the appearance of a real small dog.
Also, to meet users' individual preferences, the CyberDog 2 has been equipped with 9 removable shells, all ready to be replaced by 3D printing. This allows users to unleash their creativity and customize its appearance according to their taste. And that’s not the only improvement; the CyberDog 2 has introduced a special edition electrochromic glass for a captivating effect.
Improved athletic skills with self-developed micromotors
The CyberDog 2 has undergone a drastic optimization in its basic movement abilities, which has led to a considerable improvement in its adaptability and mobility in various environments and terrains.
This breakthrough is largely attributed to the small-volume, high-power CyberGear micromotor developed by Xiaomi. This motor not only possesses excellent movement capability but also refines precision in controlling delicate movements, enabling a wide range of actions: from dancing and somersaulting to even skateboarding.
Performing complex movements poses enormous challenges for motor control. However, this new generation of in-house developed motors offers twice the precision compared to its predecessor. With compact size and explosive power, these motors work in collaboration with continuous updates to the operation control algorithm.
As a result, CyberDog 2's action library has expanded significantly. On top of movements that mimic small dogs, such as jumping forward and backward, bowing, etc., it’s now capable of more advanced movements.
Amazingly, CyberDog 2 can perform rhythmic movements of its four legs, mimicking the iconic moonwalk. It can also simulate the steps of a ballet dancer by crossing its legs and continuously touching the ground. The robot can even ride a skateboard, push it with one leg, and maintain balance while moving. Besides maintaining the backflip capability present in the previous generation, the CyberDog 2 has managed to execute a front flip for the first time, further demonstrating its excellent dynamic balance and mechanical control abilities.
Likewise, the CyberDog 2 uses Xiaomi's AI reinforcement learning platform to train the device, allowing it to quickly get up in case of a fall. It’s also equipped with a compact UWB remote control that, when the user walks the dog, can closely follow the owner and actively avoid obstacles.
Integrating insight and intelligent decision-making
The CyberDog 2 has accomplished many comprehensive technological innovations in the field of intelligent interaction. At the core of this capability lies the NX chip and its dual coprocessors. With up to 21T of computing power, this robot can support complex intelligent interactions, enabling it to understand and respond more accurately to human input, behavior, and emotions.
The CyberDog 2 is equipped with 19 sets of sensors that make it a highly conscious entity, capable of perceiving its environment with increased accuracy. This configuration, combined with its advanced image recognition technology, allows it to capture and identify its owner's facial expressions, voice tones, and body language. What’s even more amazing is its ability to read the owner's emotions, resulting in a truly humanized interaction.
Moreover, the CyberDog 2 can follow its owner intelligently thanks to its integrated sensors and intelligent decision-making capabilities. If it encounters obstacles in its path, it can actively avoid them and continue to follow its owner smoothly.
But the CyberDog 2's capabilities don't stop there. It can also control Mijia devices through its integrated Xiao Ai Classmate voice platform and link with a variety of AIoT devices to achieve complete smart home control and become a powerful assistant for smart environments.
The CyberDog 2 innovatively introduces a graphical programming interface that not only enhances its customization capabilities but also greatly reduces the technical barrier associated with programming. It allows users to easily create programs without the need to master complex programming languages. This feature allows customized configurations for richer interactions tailored to the user's needs.
The CyberDog 2's graphical programming interface provides a variety of preset modules. Users can drag and drop these modules to create sections of program logic. These modules range from basic motion control, such as forward, backward, and direction, to more complex emotional responses, such as tail wagging, and happy or sad expressions. They even include advanced functions, such as recognition of the owner's facial expressions through the built-in camera.
These modules can also be combined through various logical relationships to support the implementation of more complex interactive modes. Users can configure the activation time, actions, and other conditions to perform actions according to the preset program. For example, when the CyberDog 2 recognizes the person in front of it as its owner, it can wag its tail to express happiness.
More than 80% open source and more than 100 open interfaces
The CyberDog 2 platform stands out for its highly open approach to its code, and this is its key feature. It presents as an open platform with unlimited possibilities that offers transparency and modifiability unmatched in the industry, ranging from the underlying hardware architecture to the top-level precision algorithms. Its open-source rate of more than 80% ranks it as the undisputed leader in the entire industry.
Aiming to meet the innovation needs of a wide variety of professionals, the CyberDog 2 also opens up more than 100 interfaces, providing any innovation-seeking developer with the freedom to deploy their creativity to the fullest. Xiaomi is confident that, in this unprecedented environment of openness, the CyberDog 2 will foster the development of professionals' creativity and potential in unlimited ways.
Where and how to get the new CyberDog 2
As expected, this product has been launched exclusively for the Chinese market, which means that, if you wish to buy it, your only option is to look for it in stores such as AliExpress. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these products could be subject to inspection at your country's customs. In case this happens, you’ll most likely have to pay the corresponding taxes, which could significantly increase the cost of the product.
Therefore, it’s advisable to contact the customs authorities to obtain information about possible additional costs. If you decide to buy a product of these characteristics, our advice is that, before clicking on the “Buy” button, you should talk to the seller and ask them to explain all your doubts about shipping, declared value, payment of VAT, or corresponding tax.
Another possibility is to buy it through a purchasing agent in China, such as Wegobuy. They usually charge a commission for the purchase (around 5-10%). Depending on the country you want to import from, this percentage could vary. So the best thing to do is to be well-informed and search properly among all the options offered on the internet.