Unitree's AlienGo Quadruped Can Now Wield a Lightsaber

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Unitree Robotics, well-known for offering inexpensive legged robots together with questionable Star Wars-themed promotional movies, has introduced a model new, custom-made, 6-degree-of-freedom robotic arm supposed to be mounted on the again of its bigger quadrupeds. Additionally, it’s going to save humanity from Sith from Mars, or one thing.


This, we must always level out, is just not the primary time Unitree has used The Power in a promotional video, though their first try was very Darkish Facet and the second try gave the impression to be largely an apology for the primary. The newest video right here appears to have landed squarely on the Mild Facet, which is sweet, however I’m kinda confused concerning the suggestion that the baddies come from Mars (?) and most people are killed (??) and the reply is a few form of “Tremendous AI” (???). I suppose Unitree should launch extra merchandise in order that we will find out how this story ends.

Anyway, concerning the arm: there are two variations, the Z1 Air and the Z1 Professional, constructed with {custom} motors utilizing harmonic reducers for low backlash and torque management. They’re virtually precisely the identical, besides that the Professional weighs 4.3kg somewhat than 4.1kg, and has a payload of 3-5kg somewhat than 2kg. Max attain is 0.7m, with 0.1mm repeatability. The worth for the Air model is “about $6600,” and it’s suitable with “different cell robots” as nicely.

It’s necessary to notice that simply having an arm on a robotic is arguably the straightforward half—it’s utilizing the arm that’s the exhausting half, within the sense that it’s a must to program it to do what you want it to do. A robust, light-weight, and well-integrated arm definitely makes that job simpler, nevertheless it stays to be seen what might be concerned in getting the arm to do helpful stuff. I don’t wish to draw too many comparisons to Boston Dynamics right here, however Spot’s arm comes with autonomous and semi-autonomous behaviors built-in, permitting in any other case advanced actions to be leveraged by business finish customers. It’s not but clear how Unitree is dealing with this.

We’re on the level now with robots basically that in lots of instances, software program is the differentiator somewhat than {hardware}, and also you get what you pay for. That stated, typically what you need or want is a extra inexpensive system to work with, and keep in mind that Unitree’s AlienGo prices beneath $10k. There’s definitely a requirement for inexpensive {hardware}, and whereas it might not be able to be dropped into business purposes simply but, it’s good to see choices like these available on the market.



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