W1 quadruped robot can now stand and walk upright

LimX Dynamics W1 Quadruped Robot
The W1 quadruped robot has now evolved to stand, walk, and roll using its hind legs. Images courtesy LimX Dynamics

LimX Dynamics, a technology firm based in China, has enhanced the capabilities of its W1 quadruped robot, enabling it to stand and walk on two feet. This development marks a significant step in the evolution of robotic mobility and functionality.

The W1 robot was first introduced in October, drawing inspiration from the Swiss-Mile Robot designed by ETH Zurich. Originally equipped with four legs, each ending in a powered wheel, the W1 was designed for optimal speed and energy efficiency on smooth surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and indoor floors. Its rolling motion allowed for quick and efficient transport across these terrains.

However, the W1’s functionality extends beyond simple locomotion on flat surfaces. In scenarios requiring navigation over obstacles, rough terrain, or stairs, the robot is designed to lock its wheels and switch to a quadruped walking gait. This versatility allows the W1 to adapt to a variety of environmental challenges, enhancing its utility in diverse settings.

A significant upgrade to the W1 is its newly acquired ability to transform into a bipedal stance, mimicking a human-like form. This feature is particularly useful for tasks that require a more anthropomorphic approach, such as interacting with human tools or environments. For instance, in tasks like package exchange where a more upright posture is advantageous, the W1 can now stand on its hind legs, either walking or rolling, to facilitate such interactions.

LimX Dynamics W1 Quadruped Robot Transforms to Biped
The W1 robot’s ability to transform into a biped enhances its functionality in environments requiring human-like interactions, such as package delivery.

The W1 robot stands at a height of 152 cm (approximately 59.8 inches) when fully upright. It boasts impressive mobility features, such as the ability to rotate 360 degrees on the spot, execute 90-degree turns, and maneuver through tight spaces like between shelving units. Moreover, the robot is designed to recover from collisions without toppling over, enhancing its robustness in dynamic environments.

LimX Dynamics W1 Quadruped Robot Warehouse
The W1 robot expertly navigates tight spaces like shelving units in warehouses, utilizing precise turns and 360-degree rotations.

Transitioning from a quadruped to a biped stance takes less than one second, showcasing the robot’s quick adaptability to changing requirements. While current demonstrations primarily showcase the W1 walking on smooth floors, its capability in more complex scenarios, such as manipulating objects while in an upright position, remains to be fully detailed.

LimX Dynamics W1 Quadruped Robot Speed
The W1 robot can roll on four wheels at up to 5.98 m/s.

As robotics technology continues to advance, the enhancements seen in the W1 quadruped robot from LimX Dynamics illustrate the ongoing improvements in robot design and functionality. While technical details and broader applications are still emerging, the W1 robot represents a significant step forward in integrating robotic systems into everyday environments and tasks. This adaptability and efficiency make the W1 a notable example of modern robotics innovation, promising to meet diverse needs and challenges in various sectors.

LimX Dynamics W1 Quadruped Robot Modes
The W1 robot displays its versatile stances—prone, quadruped, and biped—with its height reaching up to 152 cm in biped mode.

Source: LimX Dynamics