Chinese tech company Unitree has once again amazed the world of robotics with the launch of its second-generation robot dog companion, the Go2. This remarkable robotic creation is designed to follow you around at jogging speeds, perform impressive gymnastic feats, and even engage in conversation using a GPT-enabled system that can write code on the fly.
The Unitree Go2 stands at a compact 40 cm (16 inches) tall and weighs approximately 15 kg (33 lb). It’s sturdy aluminum and high-strength plastic chassis can carry more than half its own weight as payload, making it a versatile companion for various tasks. The robot dog has advanced sensors, including super wide-angle LiDAR and HD cameras, allowing it to map and navigate its surroundings in real-time. This enables the Go2 to walk alongside its owner, avoiding obstacles and adapting to challenging terrains like stairs and rocks. It can run for an hour or two on a battery charge.
One of the most impressive features of the Go2 is its athletic capabilities. With motors that boast 30% more torque than the previous model, the Go2 can perform jaw-dropping jumps, backflips, and even dance on two crossed-over legs. Its exceptional balance allows it to stand on its front two legs and gracefully navigate downstairs.
The Pro model of the Go2 also incorporates a GPT-enabled speech engine, allowing users to have natural language conversations with the robot. Beyond just understanding and responding to verbal requests, the robot attempts to write code for itself, interpreting the user’s intentions and seeking ways to be helpful. While the practical utility of this feature may be limited at the current stage, it showcases the potential for more advanced interactions in the future.
The Go2’s pricing starts at $1,600 for the base model, capable of reaching speeds of 5.6 mph (9 km/h), while the Pro model, priced at $2,800, can go up to 7.8 mph (12.6 km/h). However, the total cost is slightly higher when factoring in additional fees such as the $400 shipping charge and a 25% duty for orders in the USA. Despite this, the Go2 offers an affordable alternative to Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot dog, which costs significantly more, around $75,000.
While the Go2 presents a novel and technologically advanced robotic companion, it may still find its most prominent user base among individuals seeking entertainment and attention. Its ability to capture selfies and pick up items with its robotic arm may be considered practical features. Still, the true allure of the Go2 lies in its entertaining and attention-grabbing capabilities. The capabilities of helping around the house or around with chores are limited as it’s seen replacing getting a glass of water for a quirky dance.
For those seeking an additional layer of security, the Go2 can serve as a guard for your home, showcasing its potential for safety purposes. It can also be helpful for carrying items around and assisting with chores. The absence of the need for constant attention and its self-replicating capabilities add to its appeal as a convenient companion. With user authorization, via OTA Upgrades, the Go2 robot keeps improving and evolving to be smarter as the robot automatically connects to a cloud-based OTA service to upgrade its own programs to continuously improve the user experience.
However, as remarkable as the Go2 is, it cannot replace the innocence and loyalty of conventional pets. Pets often win our hearts with their quirks and acts of loyalty, something that robots may struggle to replicate fully. Nonetheless, the Go2 can coexist with traditional pets, providing a different set of advantages and becoming a complementary addition to the household.
Unitree’s Go2 robot dog represents a significant advancement in robotic companionship, combining agility, conversation, and helpfulness in an affordable package. While it may not replace the charm of a living, breathing pet, it undoubtedly brings a unique blend of technological wonders and entertainment value to those who embrace it. As we continue to witness the evolution of robotics and AI, the Go2 showcases a promising glimpse of the future of human-robot interaction.