Most Read This Week: World's First Running Electric Humanoid Robot Unveiled

Also inside, a new self-driving taxi unveiled at Beijing Auto Show hints at Waymo’s upcoming robotaxi

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 3, 2024

3 Min Read
Geely's Zeekr MIX driving along a road
Geely's Zeekr MIXGeely

Here are the most-read stories in IoT World Today this week:

Beijing Auto Show Vehicle Hints at New Waymo Self-Driving Taxi

A new purpose-built self-driving taxi unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show is thought to be a precursor to Waymo’s upcoming purpose-built self-driving taxi.

The Zeekr MIX, a people carrier, is the first car to be built on owner Geely’s new SEA-M platform, which Waymo’s robotaxi will also use.

As expected from a vehicle based on architecture specifically designed to accommodate autonomous vehicles, vans and MPVs, the focus is on space, comfort and safety rather than performance. Zeekr describes the MIX as “an intelligent living room on wheels.”

One Chinese outlet has gone as far as describing the MIX as “the private buyer’s version of the Waymo” and there is no doubt the pair have much in common.

See the Zeekr MIX in action >>>

World's First Running Electric Humanoid Robot Unveiled in Beijing

The world’s first electric-powered running humanoid robot was unveiled this week at the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area.

The robot, Tiangong, meaning “heavenly palace,” was designed by the Beijing Humanoid Robot Innovation Center.

Tiangong can run at speeds of up to 3.7 mph, which the company said is the closest to human-like running speeds a robot has achieved.

Related:Most Read This Week: Flying Taxi Company Coming to U.S. Airports

Potential applications for Tiangong include search and rescue, disaster response and the manufacturing industry.

See Tiangong’s unveiling >>>

Self-Driving Cars Compete in Abu Dhabi's Autonomous Racing League

The new Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (A2RL) saw its first race this week, in an event described as “bringing a science experiment to the racetrack” by pushing the boundaries of autonomous technology.

Eight teams participated, representing the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, China, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Singapore and Italy. All used the same vehicle, the 2023 Dallara Super Formula.

To make the car autonomous, it was equipped with seven Sony cameras, four ZF radar sensors and three Seyond lidar units as part of an autonomous driving stack that also features a Nvidia GPU. 

Read more about the race >>>

Boston Dynamics Showcases Dancing Dog Called Sparkles

Boston Dynamics has released a video of its robot dog, Spot, dressed in a sparkly costume and dancing in its warehouse for International Dance Day.

The blue, hairy, glittery costume transforms Spot into “Sparkles”, with the robot using Boston Dynamics’ Choreographer software to dance.

According to the company, the update is intended to “explore the intersections of robotics, art and entertainment.”

Choreographer is a tool for authoring and controlling Spot’s movements more flexibly than typical robotic engineering allows, “bridg[ing] the gap between the creative process of a traditional choreographer and the technical process of programming a robot,” according to Boston Dynamics.

See Sparkles dance >>>

Flying Taxi Company Partners for Extreme Fast Battery Charging

Chinese electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle maker EHang and fast battery charging company Greater Bay Technology (GBT) are partnering to develop high-speed battery charging systems for flying vehicles.

Together, the companies will develop eVTOL power cells, batteries, packs, charging piles and energy storage systems that comply with the airworthiness standards of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Their stated goal is to create the world's first Ultra-Fast Charging/eXtreme Fast Charging battery system for EHang’s electric aerial vehicle (EAV).

Read more about the collaboration >>>

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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