The world of robotics has seen a new entrant, Keyper, a quadruped robot from the startup Keybotic. A Catalonia-based manufacturer under de management of Irene Gomez. The robot has begun operations at Carburos Metálicos' industrial plant in El Morell, Tarragona, marking the first real-world application of Keybotic's technology. This development stands in stark contrast to other projects that remain in the study phase.
Keyper, akin to a Labrador in size, is equipped with an advanced artificial intelligence system and autonomous capabilities. It supports security and maintenance teams by processing information to detect and anticipate anomalies. This is achieved through the use of cameras, microphones, and sensors, enhancing the plant's predictive capabilities and ensuring smooth operations. The robot can cover the plant's 12,000 m2 area, demonstrating its impressive range and autonomy.
However, the high cost of robotics, particularly Boston Dynamics' Spot, has been a point of contention. Spot, a similar quadruped robot, has been criticized for its hefty price tag of around $110,500. While the exact cost of Keyper is not disclosed, the value it brings to industrial operations could challenge Spot's high-cost narrative.
Quadruped robots rival for market share
Spot is a quadruped robot that looks like a dog, easily recognizable by its yellow color. Spot was revealed to the general public in 2016 and became commercially available from 2019. It is robust and fully configurable, standing out for its ability to move around in difficult environments, and above all for its wide range of applications. Spot can automate inspection tasks and collect data reliably, even in hostile environments. It can monitor and track work progress on site by creating a digital representation of the construction. It is also used in university and research for human/robot interaction, artificial intelligence, industrial research, and in the petroleum industry, energy sector, for mining, exploration, etc.
On the other hand, Unitree Robotics is a Chinese manufacturer that specializes in developing, producing, and selling high-performance quadruped robots. The brand offers different types of robot dogs, more affordable than the Boston Dynamics Spot robot and therefore more accessible for use in research and education. They have models like Go1, Aliengo, and B1. Go1 is compact, rapid, and combines several high-performance features. It can travel at speeds of up to 17 km/h, making it the fastest. Aliengo is ideal for use in professional environments and at industrial sites as well as for research and teaching. It can map your environment in 2D and 3D, run at a speed of 6 km/h, move easily over all types of terrain, and carry out assignments lasting between 2 and 4.5 hours. B1 is designed for research and development, and it stands out for its ability to carry heavy loads of more than 40 kg.
The robotics landscape is not limited to these players. Other notable developments include Deep Robotics’ Jueying X20 robot dog, which can be used for practical applications such as opening doors, stocking shelves, etc. When used in disaster scenarios, the robot can be equipped with several application modules including a long-distance communication system, a bi-spectrum PTZ camera, gas sensing equipment, and an omnidirectional camera.
In conclusion, while Boston Dynamics' Spot, Unitree Robotics' models, and other players have made significant strides in robotics, the high cost remains a barrier for many industries. Keyper's debut in the real-world industrial setting, its advanced capabilities, and potential cost-effectiveness could challenge Spot's dominance and pave the way for more affordable and efficient robotic solutions in the industry. The choice between the three would largely depend on the specific requirements of the project at hand, but it is clear that the future of industrial operations will be significantly influenced by these quadruped robots.
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