The days of a consumer electronics business merely announcing a new phone and calling it a day are long gone. Following its foldable announcement at this morning’s major launch event in Beijing, Xiaomi welcomed CyberOne to the stage. The humanoid robot greeted the CEO and presented him with a long-stemmed flower as it joined Lei Jun onstage.
The robot isn’t as advanced as Atlas or Digit in terms of movement, but it’s a promising demonstration nonetheless and definitely not a human in a spandex suit (not that anyone would do that). It’s the company’s most recent robotics effort after initially focusing on vacuum cleaners and expanding into other areas like last year’s Spot-like CyberDog.
It’s hard to tell where CyberOne falls on the spectrum between serious pursuit and stage spectacle when compared to other consumer businesses like Samsung and LG who have shown off their robotic prowess at similar events.
Lei Jun was keen to highlight Xiaomi’s commitment to the space, saying, “CyberOne’s AI and mechanical skills are fully self-developed by Xiaomi Robotics Lab.” We have put a lot of money into research and development across multiple fields, such as software, hardware, and algorithm development.
There’s a wide variety of promises made, from predicting the future to reading people’s minds. Warning from Xiaomi: Humanoid robots use their eyes to take in and interpret their environment. CyberOne has the ability to see 3D space, recognize individuals, gestures, and expressions, and process its environment thanks to the combination of a self-developed Mi-Sense depth vision module and an AI interaction algorithm.
CyberOne can understand and respond to human emotions and 85 different types of environmental sounds thanks to an in-house built MiAI environment semantics recognition engine and a MiAI voice emotion identification engine.
In sorrowful moments, CyberOne can sense the user’s emotions and offer soothing words of encouragement. Together, a curved OLED module and CyberOne’s processing units make for an interactive, real-time display.
Real-world applications, which range from manufacturing aid to human companionship, are also promising. Both feature sets will be useful down the road, but that’s a way out from the presentation we’re giving right now. At this moment, it seems most reasonable to compare CyberOne to a product like Honda’s Asimo, which serves as a good representative of the company’s internal efforts and is viewed as a promising experiment.