Xiaomi announces CyberDog that is eerily reminiscent of the antagonist in Black Mirror

Humankind's fascination with robotics and automation to facilitate life is nothing new. In the past few years, we have seen home robots from Asus, business-focused ones from CloudMinds, a collection of them at Olympics events, an agile robot from Boston Dynamics that can do backflips, and more. Now, Xiaomi has released a quadruped robot, dubbed CyberDog.

A CyberDog created by Xiaomi

Maybe we've seen too much of Black Mirror but the four-legged metal structure is eerily similar to the one in the show's Metalhead episode. And let's just say, the reasons that we still remember Metalhead are not quite so good.

With that out of the way, it is important to note that this is Xiaomi's first venture into the space of quadruped robots. Furthermore, this is an open source project, which means that other developers can contribute to it as well. The company will also be distributing 1,000 units of CyberDog to engineers, developers, and fans.

In terms of internals, CyberDog is powered by Nvidia's Jetson Xavier NX platform, which is an AI supercomputer with 48 Tensor Cores, 384 CUDA Cores, two deep learning acceleration engines, and a 6 Carmel ARM CPU. It also packs a bunch of sensors that allow it use computer vision algorithms for movement. Speaking of movement, it can reach a top speed of 3.2m/s and can carry a maximum payload of 3kg. It also includes 128GB of SSD storage, three type-C ports, and one HDMI port.

Interestingly, Xiaomi doesn't go into details at all about CyberDog's use-cases. The press release seems to be intent on pitching it as a pet-like companion that will follow its owner around. That said, it can be controlled using voice commands, the accompanying remote, and Xiaomi's smartphone app. It's unclear how people will use it, but the company says that CyberDog can accomplish "the most unique tasks, and the ways in which it can be interacted with holds unforetold possibilities".

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