With staggering capabilities for the tedious, dangerous, and challenging tasks humans do not want to do, quadruped robots have taken the world by storm as the future of artificial intelligence. And when it comes to quadruped robots, there are two dynamic institutions: The Go1 from Unitree Robotics and Spot from Boston Dynamics have pulled away from the pack and are both utilizing state-of-the-art technology to cater to distinctly different audiences.
First, let’s dive into what both of these quadrupeds can do:
The Go1 by Unitree Robotics
The Unitree Go1 is a state-of-the-art quadruped with programming capabilities (through Python) set to change the face of education as we know it.
Unitree has pioneered these high-performance quadruped robots to the global market, and their Go1 model has traction worldwide. The Go1 is small, agile, and speedy, weighing only 12 kg but moving at 17 km/h. It utilizes optimal navigation from its unique Side-Follow tracking system and the Super Sensory technology of its stereoscopic sensor and camera system to cross rugged terrain and follow a myriad of commands. It can also carry loads with an average weight of 5kg but can even handle those payloads of up to 10 kg.
Most interesting about the Go1 is that it’s Python-programmable and ROS-capable. The ROS (or Robot Operating System) allows users to understand quadruped robotics beyond the equipment itself. By pairing this with an innovative curriculum, Go1 will enable people to tap into robotics education in ways that aren’t accessible with more expensive quadruped models.
There are three versions of the Go1 that cover all of your quadruped needs:
- Go1 Air: With this entry-level quadruped, you can get a robot dog who will avoid obstacles, follow its operator, and carry small loads, thanks to its processor and Super Sensory System.
- Go1 Pro: This model contains more sensors and processors and offers a more powerful performance. With three processors and five Super Sensory Systems, a more sophisticated version of the Go1 is at your disposal.
- Go1 Edu: This premium model has many developmental possibilities and is aimed at higher education and other professionals who use service robotics and autonomous surveillance systems.
Unitree is a true pioneer in commercializing high-performance quadruped robots for a broader audience on the worldwide stage. Whether in homes, schools, or industrial settings, these incredible self-balancing robots can make life easier and more fun.
Spot from Boston Dynamics
Spot, the brainchild of Boston Dynamics, is the poster dog of quadrupeds, easily recognizable by its yellow color and an off-shoot of the Atlas robots out of MIT. Spot came on the scene in 2016 and has been commercially available since 2019. Spot is fully programable and primarily used for research and mapping.
It’s used to travel where it is too dangerous or tedious for humans and is a stalwart at industrial sites to automate inspections in hostile environments. Quadruped robots like Spot are also used in construction and various other fields.
This quadruped has 360-degree depth perception so that all obstacles can be mapped, and it is agile even while carrying equipment. Speaking of which, it can carry up to 14 kg of inspection equipment. Along with being smart on its own, Spot also has many upgrades available to make this quadruped even more tenable.
So what is the difference?
Both of these quadrupeds are useful, but their purpose and price point are where the most prominent divide starts.
While Spot is making the manufacturing and industrial worlds safer, Go1 is primed to change the educational world. Not only is it a fraction of the price, but it’s light, compact, and accessible. Moreover, it is developed with education in mind and explicitly designed to integrate high school and university-level turn-key curricula to give more young minds access to the power of robotics.