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Forget Boston Dynamics: this Chinese robot can actually run!

© CCTV via YouTube

Very interesting things are happening in the robotics sector in 2024. While the arrival of the first truly convincing humanoid robots seemed elusive a few months ago, the American firm Boston Dynamics got the ball rolling with a video of a new integrated version of its Atlas robot – as disturbing as it is convincing with its very controlled movements and careful design.

Across the Pacific, however, robotics is also the subject of intense R&D efforts. A private research center, the Beijing Humanoid Robot Innovation Center, has just unveiled one of the country's latest technological advances with its Tiangong robot.

This joint venture unveils surprisingly convincing humanoid robot

Like the American Atlas, Tiangong is a rather accomplished humanoid robot, with an almost completely integrated design. Even if, from this point of view, its American equivalent seems significantly more mature. Above all, he has just demonstrated something that is currently completely new in the sector: he can run like a human.

The speed is not huge for the moment, since we are talking about 6 km/h (a human walks on average at a speed between 4, 8 and 6.4 km/h). But this first version could lead to increasingly faster bipedal robots, if this capability proves really useful.

On the technical sheet side, we are talking about a device measuring 1.63 m and weighing only 43 kg. It is packed with sensors allowing it to move alone in any environment. All supported by computing power of the order of 500,000 billion operations per second.

The firm at ;#8217;origin of its development, a joint venture made up of several Chinese players, explains having made the software part open source to facilitate future expansions of its capabilities. The innovation center also hopes that this hardware and software platform will serve as standards for other players in the sector wanting to accelerate the development of humanoid robots.

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For now, the robot, presented on the sidelines of the Chinese forum ZGC Forum, does not yet have a marketing date or a really precise outlet. There is also no official timetable for the marketing of the Boston Dynamics robot at the moment. Let's just hope that self-learning LLM models and capabilities superior to those of humans will not make their way into these kinds of machines too quickly – which will be part of the landscape in the very near future.

  • A Chinese humanoid robot makes an impressive demonstration by running on her two legs.
  • This ability is unprecedented in the sector at the moment.
  • She is the work of a Chinese joint venture which made the platform open source, allowing many companies to accelerate the commercialization of this type of machine.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116