The latest robot dog is smarter — and less expensive — than ever.
What’s new: Unitree Robotics of Hangzhou, China, unleashed Go2, a quadruped robot that trots alongside its owner, stands on two legs, jumps, talks, takes photos, and retails for less than a high-end MacBook.
How it works: Go2 is made of aluminum and plastic, weighs around 15 kilograms, and moves using 12 joints. A robotic arm mounted on the unit’s back is optional. It comes in three versions with a starting price of $1,600.
- All three models include a 360-degree LIDAR sensor and object detection and avoidance capability. They can connect to other devices using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and take pictures with a front-facing camera.
- The Go2 Pro, priced at $2,800, contains an eight-core CPU and foot-end force sensors that enable it to navigate autonomously at around 3.5 meters per second. It can communicate via 4G cellular as well as converse and follow plain-language verbal commands using an unspecified “GPT” language model.
- The Go2 Edu, the price of which is not listed, adds an Nvidia Jetson Orin computer and a more powerful, faster-charging battery.
Why it matters: Boston Dynamics’ industrial-strength robodog Spot is manipulating high-voltage electrical equipment, inspecting nuclear power plants, and helping to monitor urban areas. But its price — from $74,500 to $200,000 — puts it out of reach of many potential users. With its dramatically lower price, Go2 suggests that such mechanical beasts may find a wider range of uses.
We’re thinking: While wheels are great on flat ground, four legs with backward-facing joints are more stable on uneven terrain. Plus, robot dogs are cute!