G1 Humanoid: Master of mobility, from nut smashing to nimble twirls

Unitree G1 Humanoid Agent
The G1 Humanoid Agent features 3D LiDAR, depth cameras, and joints with up to 43 degrees of freedom, enabling precise, versatile movements. Images courtesy Unitree

Unitree, a Chinese robotics company, has made significant strides in humanoid robotics with its introduction of the G1 Humanoid Agent. This development follows the company’s success with its H1 model and a series of highly capable robotic quadrupeds like the Go2 and B2. The G1 represents a notable evolution in Unitree’s product line, reflecting advancements in design and functionality at a more accessible price point.

Historically, Unitree has been recognized for its robo-dogs, which have found varied applications, from experimental military uses to practical deployments in search and rescue operations. Their products gained notoriety when the U.S. Marines equipped a robot with a rocket launcher and another model was modified to throw flames in a demonstration. Despite these dramatic showcases, Unitree’s robots have also served more benign and beneficial roles since their showcase at the ICRA 2019.

The G1 Humanoid Agent marks a departure from Unitree’s earlier focus solely on quadrupeds, aligning it with competitors like Boston Dynamics, Figure, Sanctuary AI, and Tesla, who have also ventured into humanoid robotics. The G1’s launch follows the H1, which was priced at a steep $90,000 and had a potential delivery wait of up to a decade. In contrast, the G1 is substantially more affordable with a starting price of $16,000.

The G1 introduces several improvements over its predecessors. It features a head equipped with a helmet and illuminated features, including 3D LiDAR sensors and a depth camera. This humanoid is also outfitted with humanoid hands and three-fingered grippers, enhancing its capability to perform various tasks ranging from simple household activities to more complex industrial functions.

Unitree G1 Humanoid Agent Flexible
The G1 Humanoid Agent boasts an extraordinary range of motion with 23 to 43 joint motors, enabling flexibility beyond ordinary capabilities.

One of the standout features of the G1 is its resilience and mobility. Promotional materials highlight its ability to recover from physical impacts, such as kicks and punches, showcasing its potential durability in rough environments. The robot is also designed to learn and adapt through reinforcement learning in simulated environments, with skills continuously updated over the air to all models.

Technically, the G1 is robustly equipped. It includes high-performance processing cores, support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, and a battery capacity of 9,000 mAh, which supports approximately two hours of operation on a single charge. It offers a maximum running speed of 2 meters per second and has impressive flexibility with joints featuring between 23 and 43 degrees of freedom. Additionally, the G1 can produce a maximum torque of up to 120 Nm. For ease of transport and storage, it can fold down to compact dimensions of 690 x 450 x 300 mm.

Unitree G1 Humanoid Agent Transport
The G1 humanoid is designed for easy transport, capable of collapsing down into a compact form between uses.

Unitree has announced two versions of the G1: a standard model and an enhanced version tailored for educational purposes, indicating the company’s commitment to fostering robotic learning and research. While some features are still under development, the current capabilities of the G1 position it as a viable tool for both commercial and academic applications.

Unitree G1 Humanoid Agent Reinforcement Learning
The G1 humanoid learns new tasks through reinforcement learning in simulated environments and by mimicking human actions.

The G1 Humanoid Agent’s debut is indeed significant, not only for its technological advancements but also for making humanoid robots more attainable for a broader audience. With a price tag of $16,000, it opens up opportunities for smaller enterprises and educational institutions to explore the potential of humanoid robotics without the hefty investment typically associated with such technology. This strategic pricing could significantly expand the market for humanoid robots and potentially accelerate innovation in robotics applications across various sectors.

Unitree G1 Humanoid Agent Smash Nuts
The G1 humanoid powerfully smashes walnuts, showcasing its strength and utility in the kitchen.

Source: Unitree