This Tiny Humanoid Robot Makes Tesla’s Optimus Look Sluggish

The G1 is coming up hot on Optimus’ tail.

Unitree's G1 humanoid robot
Unitree / YouTube

Tesla recently updated its Optimus to a second-generation model, but Unitree’s latest robot may give it a literal run for its money. The robotics company introduced its new humanoid robot called the G1, which comes with a starting price of $16,000.

The market for humanoid robotics is still nascent, to say the least, but Unitree’s G1 represents a serious competitor offering a high level of articulation for a decent price. Sure, $16,000 doesn’t sound cheap, but compare that to the G1’s predecessor that went for around $90,000. Now, Unitree has focused on a much more affordable design that rivals the likes of Boston Dynamics’ revamped Atlas bot and Tesla’s Optimus.

The awkward claw grip can still be used for precise tasks.


Better, Faster, Stronger

Unitree built the G1 robot with up to 43 joint motors for an impressive amount of limb articulation, as you can see with how it gets off the floor. Instead of copying a human hand, Unitree went with three fingers for the G1, but it has enough mobility in its fingers to select and smash walnuts or aggressively open up your soda or beer. The G1 can even handle tasks that require more precision like flipping food in a pan or soldering wires.

Unitree packed all of those capabilities into a robot body that’s four feet, two inches tall, which is notably shorter than its H1 predecessor which is almost six feet. However, the G1 can run at 4.5 mph now, albeit a little awkwardly. It can also eat some kicks and punches and still remain balanced after the abuse. There’s a quick-release battery that powers the G1 too, which gives it a two-hour battery life. As for the A.I. that powers it, Unitree has only said so far that it will run off imitation and reinforcement-driven learning.

The G1 isn’t just an overpriced nutcracker, but that’s definitely within its range.

Unitree / YouTube

Starting At $16,000

According to Unitree’s website, the G1 will be available in a base model and a more advanced version. The base model G1 will start at $16,000 excluding any tax or shipping costs, but you’ll have to contact the sales team for the price of the G1 EDU which gets more joint freedom and hand dexterity.

Unitree could be trying to widen its product range with these two models, where the G1 EDU caters to research or commercial purposes. On the other hand, we could see the base G1 models welcomed into our homes as robot butlers tasked with cracking walnuts and opening bottles.

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