A four-legged, canine-like robot has been introduced to the mass market by a robotics company in China.
Unitree Robotics said the initial price for their scary-looking ‘Laikago’ would be around $25,000 (£18,900), but it’s set to drop in the future.
Previously, US-based Boston Dynamics had developed two dog-like robots, called ‘Big Dog’ and ‘Spot’, but this is the first time such technology has been made available to the general public, according to the creator of ‘Laikago’.
Meet ‘Laikago’: Chinese firm Unitree Robotics has unveiled a four-legged machine (pictured)
Unitree Robotics’ ‘Laikago’ has been compared to Cujo, also known as ‘Big Dog’, developed by US-based Boston Dynamics. ‘Big Dog’ (pictured) took £1.6 million and four years to create
Boston Dynamics has also released ‘Spot’, a complex machine that can walk and trot on four legs like a dog. Pictured, ‘Spot’ was presented at SoftBank World 2017 conference in July
Unitree Robotics unveiled the company’s ‘Laikago’, or ‘Laika Dog’, on October 16 after having spent one year creating the machine.
Boston Dynamics makes a variety of robots, including machines that mimic humans and animals.
The firm first hit headlines with Cujo, also known as ‘Big Dog’, which took two million dollars (£1.6 million) and four years to create and was first tested out by the US marines.
Their products also include Big Dog’s little brother Spot, a complex machine that can walk and trot on four legs like a dog.
In June, Japanese firm SoftBank agreed to buy Boston Dynamics from Google’s parent company Alpahbet.
The small firm is led by 27-year-old Wang Xingxing, who has had a great interest in robots since childhood.
Mr Wang told MailOnline that it had been his dream to make such a product for the mass market.
He said: ‘My wish is to see everyone having their own robot by 2020.’
‘Laikago’ is named after Laika, the first-ever animal that was launched into orbit in 1957. Mr Wang said he and his team liked the scientific significance Laika bore, so they decided to give the name to their own invention.
‘Laikago’ measures 0.56 metres (22 inches) long, 0.35 metres (13.7 inches) wide and 0.6 metres (23.6 inches) tall and can be folded into a suitcase.
It weighs 22 kilograms (48.5 pounds) and can run for two to three hours after it’s fully charged.
Different from ‘Big Dog’ or ‘Spot’, ‘Laikago’ has been introduced to the mass market and would be priced at around $25,000. Its creator Wang Xingxing aims to deliver first orders next year
‘Laikago’ measures 0.56 metres (22 inches) long, 0.35 metres (13.7 inches) wide and 0.6 metres (23.6 inches) tall. It can be turned on with one button and folded into a suitcase
Wang Xingxing (left), the engineer behind ‘Laikago’ (right), said the robot was a follow-up project to ‘Xdog’, a four-legged machine he created at university in 2014
The robot, which could be activated with just one button, can climb slopes up to 20 degrees and pull an adult man sitting on a suitcase.
After images and footage of ‘Laikago’ was released, some people have pointed out that the robot resembles the ‘Big Dog’ and ‘Spot’ developed by Boston Dynamics in appearance.
In response, Wang Xingxing said that ‘Laikago’ was a follow-up project to ‘Xdog’, a four-legged robot he created at university in 2014.
Mr Wang said both robots used an electric drive system which had been invented before Boston Dynamics released its electrically-driven versions.
CUJO THE BIG DOG
A ‘Big Dog’ robot is being built at Boston Dynamics. The machine can help soldiers carry heavy equipment in the field and walking across wet, sandy and rocky terrain
Boston Dynamics first hit headlines with Cujo, also known as ‘Big Dog’.
It took two million dollars (£1.6 million) and four years to create and was tested out by the US marines.
It is one of a series of dog-like robots created by the company.
It can walk and run over rugged terrain, following a soldier while carrying their kit and weapons.
It can stand upright, walk for 20 miles without a break and carry up to 400lbs (180 kg).
The controls are simple to learn and have joysticks and one recruit said using it ‘feels like playing Call of Duty.’
The young engineer also said that none of the components in ‘Laikago’ was the same as those in ‘Big Dog’.
Unitree Robotics has received orders for ‘Laikago’ from various clients, including universities and research labs.
Most clients wish to buy ‘Laikago’ for research purpose.
Mr Wang and his team are aiming to deliver the orders by next year.
‘Laikago’ is named after Laika, the first-ever animal that was launched into orbit in 1957
It weighs 22 kilograms (48.5 pounds) and can run for two to three hours when it’s fully charged