Xiaomi unveils its new humanoid robot CyberOne. Rival to Tesla Bot?

It’ll even hand you a flower when you’re sad.
Chris Young
An artist's impression of CyberOne.


  • Xiaomi unveiled a new bipedal robot, CyberOne, during its big launch event this week.
  • The company revealed a Spot-like robot dog, CyberDog, last year.
  • Xiaomi highlights CyberOne's emotional detection, saying it can recognize "45 classifications of human emotion".

Xiaomi unveiled a bipedal humanoid robot called CybeOne at its launch event in Beijing yesterday.

After the company announced its latest foldable phone, the Mix Fold 2, CyberOne came onstage to greet CEO Lei Jun and hand him a flower.

The robot has a fairly slow, somewhat awkward walk and stance, which draws unfavorable comparisons with Boston Dynamics' Atlas. Robotics fans will also remember that Xiaomi announced its CyberDog last year, which looks and runs remarkably like Hyundai-owned Boston Dynamics' Spot robot.

Still, it's a sign of Xiaomi's ambitions in the robotics market, and also of the wider trend for consumer electronics firms to build robots — whether most of them are built as a showpiece for trade events or with the ultimate goal of mass production remains to be seen.

Robots will 'upend our idea' of the economy

Several other big brands, including LG and Samsung have also recently shown off robots at big launch events. Even Tesla has announced it will join the robotics market, with CEO Elon Musk having recently stated that the electric vehicle firm will hopefully reveal new details of its robot, Optimus, in September. During Tesla's AI Day last year, Musk said robots like Tesla's Optimus will "will upend our idea of what the economy is".

Much like Optimus, little is known when it comes to specifications for Xiaomi's newly-revealed CyberOne robot. One thing we do know is that Xiaomi is investing a great deal in the development of its robots. As Lei Jun point out during the launch event, "CyberOne’s AI and mechanical capabilities are all self-developed by Xiaomi Robotics Lab. We have invested heavily in R&D spanning various areas, including software, hardware and algorithms innovation."

In its accompanying press release, Xiaomi notes that "Humanoid robots rely on vision to process their surroundings. Equipped with a self-developed Mi-Sense depth vision module and combined with an AI interaction algorithm, CyberOne is capable of perceiving 3D space, as well as recognizing individuals, gestures, and expressions, allowing it to not only see but to process its environment."

CyberOne will detect happiness and comfort humans

Xiaomi also says CyberOne is equipped with a MiAI vocal emotion identification engine, which allows it to "recognize 85 types of environmental sounds and 45 classifications of human emotion." This, according to Xiaomi, includes detecting happiness, and it even lets the robot comfort people when their sad. How it actually does so, isn't explained — though judging by the way CyberOne handed that flower over to Lei Jun we imagine it might entail an awkward pat on the back.

The company is also fairly vague when it comes to the real-world applications of CyberOne — the company says the robot could be used in the future for anything from manufacturing to human companionship. With Boston Dynamics' Atlas continuing to impress with its athletic abilities, Xiaomi has very purposefully taken a different approach, which is highlighted in a promotional video (above) for CyberOne. While the humanoid robot seems to have pretty average dexterity and poor locomotion, it seems it was designed primarily to interact and engage with humans on an emotional level. We'll need more than a brief tech demo to see whether Xiaomi can deliver on that lofty promise.

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