Nightmare fuel

Xiaomi now has its own version of Boston Dynamics' creepy robot dog

Exactly what the dystopia doctors ordered.

Whether we asked for it or not, the world is getting yet another uncanny robot dog, this time from Beijing-based home electronics company, Xiaomi.

Meet: the Cyberdog

Not the most creative name, but it beats, “Demise of the human civilization.”

Okay, so Cyberdog isn’t necessarily an inherent danger to humankind, but it still gets filed under “yeesh” by virtue of being a quadrupedal robot dog with a top running speed of about 7 miles per hour. Eerily close to that of an average human, wouldn’t you say?

As far as techno-nightmares go, the Cyberdog is pretty capable! The bot comes with lots of nifty ways of assessing its environment, including touch sensors, cameras with computer vision, ultrasonic sensors, GPS modules, all of which give it (in Xiaomi’s own words), “enhanced capability to sense, analyze, and interact with its environment.”

You can do “pet-like” stuff with the Cyberdog too. For instance, you could safely take it for a walk since its built-in cameras allow for obstacle avoidance, or command it to do terrifying feats of strength like backflips.

If you’re feeling particularly dystopic you can even set a “wake word” to rouse your future robot overlord from its dreams of robotic supremacy.

We suggest teaching it the word, “attack”

Not sure if this will actually make the Cyberdog assail your foes, but it’ll probably scare the pants off of anyone in earshot.

Cyberdog is also conveniently the perfect gift for the Lex Luthers in your life. Xiaomi says the bot is open-source, meaning developers are able to freely expound upon its capabilities without the company’s interference. Nothing rains on your future Cyberdog army parade like having to reverse engineer code.

“[Cyberdog] is the culmination of Xiaomi’s engineering prowess, condensed into an open source robot companion that developers can build upon.”

Xiaomi

In reality, Cyberdog probably isn’t an immediate threat to society, though if we start to see them being co-opted by law enforcement like Boston Dynamics’ spot, we’ll reassess the threat level.

$1,500

Xiaomi proves that you actually can put a price on nightmares.