Desktop robot startup Letianpai releases first product on Tmall

Among multiple highlights of the device, it is upgradable via OTA and supports third-party customization on user interface and robotic "facial expression."

Letianpai (乐天派), a domestic desktop robot developer, announced on June 18 the global launch of its inaugural product on China’s leading e-commerce platform

The product, which it calls “Xiao Le,” carries a sticker price of 1,799 yuan (US$251) and will officially begin sale at 19:00 (GMT+8) on June 26.

Founded by Li Ming, reportedly the nineth employee of tech behemoth Xiaomi Group (小米集团), Letianpai — literally born optimist — manufactures what it calls the world’s first desktop robot under the Android open-platform system.

“Our product is built specially around the desktop scenario and features nine use cases,” Li said in a WeChat post, without elaborating.

In the post he added that everyone spends eight to 10 hours a day at the desk, which means a robotic desktop assistant like Letianpai’s is quite “necessary.”

Among multiple highlights of the device, it is upgradable via OTA and supports third-party customization on user interface and robotic “facial expression.”

The Beijing-based startup said it will open up an API to allow users to download apps from Android’s appstore.

Aside from the open system, Letianpai’s robot enables access to generative AI tools to make its operation more intelligent.

The gadget already can run the large language model xinghuo renzhi from speech recognition titan iFlytek (科大讯飞) on the domestic version.

Meanwhile, its overseas edition is able to automatically connect with OpenAI’s ChatGPT or similar services, which are banned in China.

The robot, 16.5cm tall, comes with a 16-million-color (24-bit) antenna and can walk bipedally. The 2.1-inch circular display screen, a design allegedly inspired by the helmet of astronaut, can flash such information as time, English words, notifications, Wifi hotspots, stock prices and incoming calls.

The device has a built-in wireless charger that is compatible with wired charging via USB-C connectors.

Letianpai advertises this gadget as a handy personal assistant capable of much more beyond conversing in Chinese — it has a rich variety of “facial expressions” while speaking, showing happiness, sadness and excitement, among others.

The user can interact with the gizmo via hand gesture, its touchscreen or a mobile app.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at

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