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The Chinese copy of the Boston Dynamics robot dog costs 30 times less. What's the catch?

The most successful robot manufacturer today is Boston Dynamics. Anyone can buy a Spot robot dog and use it for their own purposes. Recently blogger Michael Reeves taught this robot to pee beer in a plastic glass - is this not a miracle of technology?But buying such a "toy" is very expensive, because the manufacturer asks for $ 74,500 for it. But the other day the Chinese company Welian created a copy of it and it costs 30 times cheaper than the original. The cheap robot is called AlphaDog and looks pretty much the same: it has four movable legs, a set of sensors, and artificial intelligence. The company assures that in the future the robot will be able to notice guide dogs and even gain the ability to bark and perform voice commands. But why is a copy of a robot so much cheaper than the original? There is no official answer to this question, but let's try to figure it out.

AlphaDog is almost indistinguishable from Spot, but costs much less

Blogger Michael Reeves really taught the robotSpot pee beer in a plastic glass. You can watch the video on YouTube, but read this article first. Perhaps even you can create a "beer robot" with the help of AlphaDog, and for relatively little money.

The cheapest robot, analogue of Spot from Boston Dynamics

Externally, the AlphaDog robot is really very similaron the robotic dog Spot from Boston Dynamics. The only visual difference is perhaps in the color of the body: the original robot is yellow, and the copy is red. There are no details on the technical characteristics of the robot, but it is clearly equipped with sensors for measuring distance to objects and other electronics. The manufacturer also mentioned that the execution of tasks is possible thanks to artificial intelligence. In general, sensors collect information, and an internal computer decides what to do with them and gives commands to the motors. Everything works in much the same way as the Boston Dynamics robot.

In the future, AlphaDog will be able to replace guide dogs

One of the main advantages of the AlphaDog robot overSpot is the walking speed. In the video below, you can see how the Chinese copy accelerates to 3 meters per second, which is more than 10 kilometers per hour! In comparison, the Spot robot can only walk at a speed of about 5 kilometers per hour. According to the publication Gizmochina, the AlphaDog robot can be considered the fastest at the moment. When you consider that it is as good at balancing as the brainchild of Boston Dynamics, Welian has clearly done a great job and is commendable.

The AlphaDog robot is manually controlled, but if connected to 5G, it can work autonomously.

The cheapness of the AlphaDog robot can be explained by the factthat the company uses less expensive materials than Boston Dynamics. However, there may not be a difference in the quality of the material - the Chinese company could simply have made a better deal with suppliers. But sensors and other equipment can really be budgetary. At the moment, the AlphaDog robot is able to perform not so many useful tasks. But the Spot robot has recently been updated and is even capable of taking readings from various sensors - the video can be viewed at this link.

The Spot robot from Boston Dynamics is equipped with a mechanical arm. The Chinese copy does not have it.

It is difficult to say who is better yet.On the one hand, AlphaDog is cheaper, but it is not a fact that it will be supported for a long time. There are no guarantees that Welian will not close after a few years - in this case, the robot will not receive updates and there will be no sense from it. But Boston Dynamics has been around since the 1990s and is therefore trustworthy. Initially, she created robots for military purposes, but then the cooperation ended and engineers began to produce devices for more widespread use.

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And Boston Dynamics is doing very well.At the end of March, she unveiled her new robot called Stretch. It is a very simple robot: it consists of a square base and a mechanical arm with suction cups for lifting loads. It is capable of lifting objects weighing up to 23 kilograms and will go on sale in 2022. The novelty is expected to be useful in warehouses and ships - it is easy to move it to different locations. You can watch the video where he works at this link.