Pets can be wonderful companions, part of the family, even. But for many of us, having a pet isn’t an option. Hectic schedules, allergies, or a living setups ill-suited for pets are all sound reasons for not having a pet, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that so many of us long for a four-legged companion.
Enter the Unitree A1 Robot. The design of this sophisticated little guy is unlike its competitors when it comes to speed, agility, and fun. This quadruped friend has been purpose-built from the ground up the ensure that it competently navigates environmental perimeters and can follow its owner nearly anywhere.
Weighing in at just under 26 pounds, the Unitree A1 can run over 6 miles per hour! The A1 athletically maneuvers through the oncoming landscape by way of a Lidar tracking system, which maps the foreground and enables the A1 to target moving objects in real-time. The Lidar-linked camera has a refresh rate of 25-30 frames per second, which is just above the speed at which the human eye and brain reads movement in front of it.
With all of that incoming data and A1’s ability to maneuver at high speed, Unitree has made great efforts to ensure that this little bot would be an athlete. Utilizing a dynamic algorithm for balance and obstacle avoidance, it actively works to re-align its weight and step cadence to avoid obstacles as close as two feet away.
Unitree has also built a patented foot-touch system that allows for the A1 to read input from integrated force-sensors in its footpads. The A1s competition only utilizes sensors in their limb joints, which provides a sub-optimal feedback loop. These patented, waterproof, dust-proof, and replaceable foot pads deliver incredible results.
Unitree has a long history of developing dog-like robots. They offer a larger model, the Laikago, which weighs about three times more than the A1, moves a little slower, but also has twice the carrying capacity. They also offer a Laikago Pro, which is a bulked-up version of the original. The Laikago is the Saint Bernard of the Unitree lineup, where the A1 is more of a King Charles Cavalier.
If it seems like a robot dog is a better solution for your life situation, the A1 robot is for you. It features over two and a half hours of run-time, can carry up to 11 pounds, and offers some wild and incredible performance. At just under $10,000, it isn’t cheap, but you’ll never have to run out for dog food.