A Chinese EV startup wants to build a ridable robot unicorn for kids

by Emma

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Never mind buying a robot dog for your kids — you might just get them a mythical creature instead. Chinese EV maker Xpeng has teased a robot unicorn meant for children to ride. As SCMP notes, the quadruped will take advantage of Xpeng’s experiences with autonomous driving and other AI tasks to navigate multiple terrain types, recognize objects and provide “emotional interaction.”

The company is shy on most other details, although the design looks and trots like a cuter, more kid-friendly version of Boston Robotics’ Spot. It’s appropriately about as tall as a child. Sorry, folks, you won’t prance your way to work.

This robot unicorn is just about as mythical as the ‘real’ thing, too. Xpeng hasn’t revealed when it expects to deliver its robotic horse-with-a-horn, let alone pricing or availability. It might not cost as much as a $75,000 Spot, but we’d expect something this sophisticated to cost more than the $2,900 Aibo from 2019.

To some extent, profit is beside the point. Xpeng chief He Xiaopeng said the unicorn was part of a broader move into the robotics space by taking advantage of the company’s existing technology. Think of this as a first step. What Xpeng learns from its unicorn could lead to more sophisticated (and hopefully adult-oriented) robots you’re more likely to buy.

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