Unitree (宇树科技), a domestic developer of quadrupeds, has followed a handful of tech powerhouses and startups into uncharted waters by launching its own humanoid robot H1.
The Hangzhou-headquartered firm yesterday released pictures, video and specs of H1 in a long-form infographic article published in its official WeChat account.
All photos courtesy of Unitree
According to the article, H1 stands 180.5 cm tall with the head (28.5 cm) and weighs in at 47 kg.
It can walk briskly at 1.5 m/s, albeit with bent knees, meaning that it has room for improvement in gait and posture adjustment.
H1 appears to be able to withstand external forces and retain its balance even though it sustains a hard kick in the hip or waist.
The robot derives its locomotion partly from Unitree’s self-developed M107 joint motors.
As a result, it possesses strong dynamics, upgraded motion agility, speed, payload and even battery life.
Unitree compares M107 joint motors with actuators used in Tesla’s Optimus, namely, Tesla-1 and Tesla-2, and the message seems to be that its technology is superior to Tesla’s in many respects.
Specifically, the M107 motor generates a maximum torque of 360N.m or 10,000 N, as opposed to Tesla-1’s 180N.m and Tesla-2’s 8,000 N.
By contrast, M107 weighs 1.9 kg, while Tesla-1 and Tesla-2 are 2.26 kg and 2.2 kg heavy.
Below 1 million yuan
An obviously missing part of H1 is a robot hand, which Unitree says it is working on to be mounted on its wrist.
Delivery of H1 is expected to begin sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.
Unitree boasts in the WeChat article that H1 carries a sticker price of below 1 million yuan (US$137,000), making it one of the world’s most cost-effective humanoids currently available.
Wang Xingxing, founder and CEO of Unitree, hailed H1’s birth as an “exciting moment and the beginning of a smart new era” in a WeChat Moments post.
Wang is a former DJI employee and founded Unitree in 2016, arguably one of the first Chinese firms to specialize in the manufacturing of legged robots.
Unitree recently made headlines with the release of its Go2 robot dog, with upgraded motion control capabilities, such as standing upside down and moving sideways on one front and hind leg, among other feats.
Building bipeds has been the “next big thing” and also a personal dream for Wang over the last 13 years.
Wang traced this dream to the time when he put together a makeshift biped independently in his university dorm during the winter break in 2010.
“Many of the details then are still vivid today, and in the blink of an eye, 13 years have passed,” he reminisced in the WeChat post.
Wang thanked co-workers for their dedication and hard work, as they rolled out H1 within half a year.
In the next three to 10 years, Unitree seeks to complete the new industrial revolution with general-purpose robotics and AI, the WeChat article says toward the end.