DEEP Robotics Co. yesterday announced that it has launced the latest version of its Lite3 robotic dog in Europe. The system combines advanced moblity and an open modular structure to serve the education, research, and entertainment markets, said the Hangzhou, China-based company.
“The Lite series is designed for research and education purposes,” said DongXin Zheng, product manager at DEEP Robotics. “While we have been able to advance the technical aspects of Lite3, we have also managed to bring the pricing down so that it is more affordable for an even broader group of potential users.”
Founded in 2017, DEEP Robotics claimed that it was one of the first developers of quadruped robots for autonomous inspection in Asia. It said its proprietary products have now been deployed in exploration, public rescue, and other industrial applications.
More than 60% of DEEP Robotics’ team is working in research and development, said the company. DEEP Robotics said its partners include Tencent and Alibaba.
Lite3 series comes in four versions
DEEP Robotics said it offers the new Lite3 series in four models: a basic one designed for technology enthusiasts, plus three more advanced versions designed for scientific study purposes.
The robot's features include DEEP Robotics’ latest proprietary joints, control systems, and advanced algorithms. Lite3 incorporates significant technological advances since Lite2, the company said.
The latest robotic dog has proprietary leg-joint technology that provides far greater strength and drive, with torque increased by 50%, it said. The high-torque joint drive-module offers extremely high torque density, response bandwidth and reversed transmission efficiency, enhanced rotation stability, and less power consumption.
The payload of Lite3 is 40% greater than that of its predecessor, claimed DEEP Robotics. It can carry loads of up to 7.5 kg (16.5 lb.).
In addition, the robot's endurance in terms of time and range has nearly doubled, the company said. The Lite3 can operate for up to 90 minutes and has a range of 5 km (3.1 mi.).
The Lite3 features an industrial-level real-time control system with depth optimization, a first for DEEP Robotics' lineup, tripling overall computing power. “The algorithm upgrades make its movement more agile and responsive,” said the company.
The Lite 3 can climb steps up to 15 cm (5.9 in.) in height, close to the current maximum for a quadruped robot of its size and runs at a peak speed of 4 m/sec. (8.9 mph). It can also perform horizontal jumps, high jumps, front flips, and other similarly difficult maneuvers.
Quadruped has 'open modular structure'
The open modular structure and interfaces of the Lite3 make it extremely scalable and flexible in its capabilities, said DEEP Robotics. The system offers strong scalability that can be ramped up with the installation of more modules, it asserted.
Modules such as ones for real-time kinematics (RTK), artificial intelligence, edge processing, and other types of sensors can be readily added, claimed the company.
To enhance its navigation across very challenging terrain, the Lite3 provides leveled-perception interfaces (SDK, API), said DEEP Robotics. They are combined with lidar and a depth camera for to develop autonomous navigation and stopping, obstacle avoidance, visual positioning, 3D scanning, and other perceptional abilities.
“Lite3's better visual perception, interaction and obstacle clearance capabilities mean it can meet many secondary application development needs,” said DongXin Zheng. “Most users can access the functional interface and code it for specific uses.”
DEEP Robotics targets global availability
DEEP Robotics said it currently sells the Lite quadruped series in more than a dozen countries across North America, Western Europe, and the Middle East, as well as parts of Asia, including Japan and South Korea.
The new robot is now available for pre-order on DEEP Robotics’ official website and through local resellers in Europe. Overseas shipping of Lite3 is expected to begin in September 2023.
DEEP Robotics said leading universities including Tsinghua, Peking, and Edinburgh, along with University College London, already use its robot dogs.