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Unlike Boston Dynamics’ robot dog, you can actually buy this one for $2,700

Can you really put a price on friendship?

unitree robotic dog
Image: Unitree

Ever since Half-Life 2, I’ve wanted a robotic dog companion to call my own. That dream gets closer this week with the Unitree Go 1, a terrier-sized robotic dog that starts at $2,700 to buy. It’s a surprisingly coordinated robodog for that price, even if its utility seems lacking.

Now, I’m not exactly going to go run out and buy one, even though I think it’s super cool. I mean, nobody’s created a gravity gun yet, and the Go 1 isn’t big enough to bring back balls of scrap to play fetch with. It’s great for the price though, considering the better-known Boston Dynamics’ Spot will ding your credit to the tune of $74,500.

With companies still trying to figure out what to do with these new robotic dogs, the first step might just to get them cheap enough to have as toys, as smartphone and drone manufacturers have managed in recent years. That’s what Unitree wants to do, so a cheap robodog to get people used to having robots around is a good first step.

If you want your own Unitree Go 1 to carry your hydration while you jog, the company has three options: the $2,700 Go 1 Air, $3,500 Go 1, and $8,500 Go 1 Edu.

All three robotic dogs come in the same 12kg shell, with the additional costs going towards more sensors and processing power, and the Edu model has a programming API for teaching purposes. Things like obstacle avoidance and person-following come as standard, and the more expensive models have a 17km/h top speed.

Anyway, I’m going back to dreaming about my own d0g. If anyone wants to hurry up and develop a gravity gun in the meantime, I’m all ears.

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