The code behind Xiaomi’s CyberDog? Ubuntu • The registry

Linux fans rejoice: the intelligence behind Xiaomi’s Not-Spot, CyberDog, comes from none other than Ubuntu 18.04.

The register asked Canonical why not something a little newer, like 20.04, and robotic product manager, Gabriel Aguiar Noury, told him that “the operating system is running 18.04 rather than 20.04 because they are using Jetson, and 18.04 is more consistent with the approach the team had in mind. “

CyberDog hit the world stage in August and represented the company’s first foray into the world of quadruped robotics.

Xiaomi’s CyberDog – Seeks to Outperform Boston Dynamics Spot in Scary Stakes …

Frankly, it also looks a lot like the Boston Dynamic’s Spot, filled with those knees back and a flat “face” up front. Unlike Spot, however, the CyberDog can trot much faster, at 3.2m / s according to Xiaomi, compared to 1.6m / s from Spot. Spot is, however, stronger and can carry 14 kg of payload compared to the comparatively bulky 3 kg of the “bio-inspired” CyberDog.

From a hardware standpoint, CyberDog runs on the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX platform (hence Noury’s comment), which is packed with 384 CUDA cores and 48 Tensor cores. It is equipped with 11 sensors and a set of cameras, and can plot a course while following its owner.

“CyberDog can be used for the most unique tasks, and the ways it can interact with it opens up unforeseen possibilities,” Xiaomi said breathlessly.

CyberDog is also considerably cheaper than Spot. Xiaomi has released 1,000 units for $ 1,540 – a substantial drop from the $ 74,500 requested by Boston Dynamics for Spot.

However, it’s the presence of open source code aboard Xiaomi’s CyberDog that gets the queue flapping. This isn’t the first time Ubuntu has encountered robotic companions. In 2018, a vaguely creepy and passive-aggressive floating head called CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) was seen interacting with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst aboard the ISS. Regarding CIMON, Noury ​​said: “There is not much to say on the subject”, but added: “If Ubuntu is used in space, why not in our four-legged robots. ?

Hmm. May be. CIMON could be strapped to a space station bulkhead and turned off when its needs became too great for the lab’s inhabitants, but the idea of ​​CyberDogs scurrying along the station’s walls is probably a little too close to the dream of sci-fi horror fan fever to our liking.

Here again, we welcome for the first time the arrival of our overlords of robot dogs. Although the fact that they run on open source means that there will likely be years of vicious infighting between a group of them before they come close to a menacing civilization. ®

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About George H. McWhorter

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