Good dogs: A look at the newest Unitree quadrupeds

Good dogs: A look at the newest Unitree quadrupeds

By Scott Simmie

When people think of robots, they often picture industrial robotic arms doing repetitive work on assembly lines: Precision welding, picking and placing objects – those sorts of applications. Or perhaps a wheeled platform carrying a load from one location in a factory to another.

In recent years, however, new algorithms and technologies have led to an increase in the number of quadruped robots. These are the four-legged devices that inevitably remind observers of dogs, since they have roughly the same shape and move with a similar gait. They’re also (depending on the robot) roughly the same size as medium to large dog breeds.

The most well-known of these is likely Spot, built by Boston Dynamics. Built primarily for industrial inspections, this machine has also taken the spotlight (excuse the pun) with choreographed performances with the likes of Cirque du Soleil.

In fact, videos of Spot dancing proved so viral that Boston Dynamics produced a video to clarify that its robot is capable of much more:



Why four legs? Why not just wheels, like most mobile robotic platforms?

Good question. And we put that to InDro Robotics Account Executive Luke Corbeth.

“In most predictable environments, wheels or tracks will suffice,” he says.

“Quadrupeds excel at unpredictable terrain. You can start looking at complex infrastructure like refineries, where there might be stairs or pipes that need to be stepped over. Quadrupeds are also suitable for Search and Rescue, where there might be rubble on the ground or potentially unsafe conditions. Robots like these are very good at navigating terrain that would be impossible for a robot with wheeled or tracked locomotion.”




Unitree Robotics is one of a small but growing number of firms specializing in these robots. Its founder is Wang Xinxing, an engineer who started working on quadrupeds roughly a decade ago at Shanghai University. He built his first quadruped, XDog, by designing and building virtually everything, including motor drive boards, the master-slave architecture, the legs – and more.

All that hard work led to the founding of Unitree in 2016. And Wang and his team of engineers have never stopped trying to push the envelope. As the Unitree website explains, the company puts a heavy emphasis on R&D:

“Unitree attaches great importance to independent research and development and technological innovation, fully self-researching key core robot components such as motors, reducers, controllers, LiDAR and high-performance perception and motion control algorithms, integrating the entire robotics industry chain, and reaching global technological leadership in the field of quadruped robots. At present, we have applied for more than 150 domestic patents and granted more than 100 patents, and we are a national high-tech certified enterprise.”

We’re going to explore two new models from Unitree in just a moment, but it’s worth taking a look back at the early days. This video was uploaded seven years ago – after XDog was already in development for more than a year.




One of the new Unitree quadrupeds is the GO2. This is a step up from the GO1 EDU, which has been popular for research and development, corporate innovation parks, and even entertainment. (Yes, like Spot, the GO series can also dance – but they also do *much* more than that.)

The GO2 is a significant redesign from the GO1 series. Unitree has dropped some of the multiple cameras from the GO1 and developed its own LiDAR module, called the L1. It features a 360° x 90° hemispherical capture. With a minimal blind spot, Unitree says the GO2 is 200 per cent better at recognizing its surroundings than the GO1 series. It can detect surroundings as close as .05m away.

Because of the LiDAR, it’s obviously capable of mapping even unfamiliar surroundings and avoiding obstacles, meaning it’s perfect for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) applications. In conjunction with that LiDAR, the GO2 features the new NVIDIA Orin Nano for powerful onboard AI-enhanced EDGE computing

“From my experience, the LiDAR does a much better job at SLAM than the depth cameras on the previous models,” says Corbeth. “The obstacle avoidance is really good out-of-the-box and it can obviously be improved on with development (GO2 is Open Source). And the Orin is a really notable upgrade when it comes to computing power.”




One of the more intriguing features is that the GO2 is integrated with Chat GPT and can respond to voice commands. You could ask it to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and it would speak the answer to you. More useful, though, is that you can instruct the GO2 to carry out certain tasks by voice.

“If you say: ‘Hey, go back to where I first turned you on,’ then it’s going to return home. So that’s a practical use. This is one of the first robots that can accept voice commands out-of-the-box and literally action some of those voice commands.”

You can even ask GO2, viat Chat GPT, to generate code for new tasks. Think about that for a moment.

It’s also capable of wireless charging. The GO2 can rest itself on a small optional pad and be ready for its next mission without human intervention. There’s also an option for a servo arm if a manipulator is useful for your application. It’s faster than the GO1 EDU, capable of trotting along at 5 metres/second. The GO2 also has a significantly longer run time – between two and four hours, depending on how strenuously it’s working. Battery capacity and endurance have jumped by 150 per cent compared to the previous model.

“The locomotion – their internal algorithm for how the robot moves – is much improved. So it can go faster, it’s more reliable, it’s quieter,” adds Corbeth. Firmware upgrades are OTA (over the air), with user authorisation. The GO2 connects via 4G, Wi-FI6 and Bluetooth.

Unitree Go2 Quadruped



Though the GO2 could be used for basic industrial applications, it’s intended more for R&D and education (there’s even the option of drag-and-drop block coding). InDro Robotics is also capable of modifying the robot with our InDro Backpack – which enables data-dense 5G operation with an easy-to-use dashboard and comprehensive documentation. The Backpack also contains USB slots for additional sensors, as well as the Robot Operating System (ROS) code necessary for seamless integration.

“Anything the GO1 could do, the GO2 can do better, faster, longer,” says Corbeth.

There are even variants available – the GO2 Enterprise and GO2 Enterprise Plus – with some additional bells and whistles intended for law enforcement, Search and Rescue and other First Responder applications. Those features include dual backup communication links, a searchlight and emergency flashing lights, an additional camera and the ability for two-way voice communication.

Here’s a look at the basic GO2 in action:



Unitree’s other new quadruped is the B2. It’s an incredibly powerful, enterprise-level machine that can be deployed in even the most demanding conditions. Use-cases include:

  • Industrial asset monitoring and surveillance
  • Search and Rescue/First Responder work
  • Carrying heavy payloads/cargo over even rough terrain
  • Working in water (Ingress Protection rating IP67)

Capable of moving at 6 metres per second (21.6 km/hour), Unitree says the B2 is the world’s fastest enterprise-level quadruped.

“That’s really fast – like ridiculously fast,” says InDro’s Corbeth.

“The B2 is designed less for development and more for real commercial applications. It’s also Open Source, which differentiates it from quadrupeds like Spot, or those made by Ghost Robotics,  ANYmal, etc. So we have the option to deploy proprietary software on it that we’ve built and designed, or our partners have built and designed.”

Like its predecessor the B1, the size of the B2 is striking. It weighs 60 kg and measures 1098mm x 450mm x 645mm.

B2 Robot



Straight from the box, the B2 is ready for a variety of use-cases. With strength and endurance, this machine has been tested carrying a 45 kilogram load 7.98 kilometres on a single charge (or 20kg more than 15 km). If it’s not carrying a load, it can walk more than 20 kilometres non-stop.

The B2 can handle slopes of 45° with ease, even in rough terrain. It can even walk on greasy or oil-covered floors without falling down. (You’ll see an impressive demo involving banana peels shortly.)

Unitree has measured a 170 per cent improvement in joint performance over the B1, with 360 Nm (Newton-metres, or 265.5 foot-pounds) of torque. Run-time is vastly improved, with the B2 capable of operating between four and six hours on a mission (depending on terrain, payload and speed). The heavy-duty battery is designed for rapid swapouts, and the option of autonomous wireless charging via pad is an option.

From the factory, the B2 is equipped with a 32-wire automotive-grade LiDAR, two depth cameras, a high-resolution optical camera, and a high-capacity 45Ah (2250Wh) battery.

“And the B2 can be further customized, either directly from the factory or by InDro Robotics for specific use-case scenarios,” says Account Executive Corbeth. “We can integrate additional sensors, including thermal and even gas-detecting modules according to client needs. And, of course, we can also outfit the B2 with the InDro Robotics Backpack, which enables 5G operation and allows for rapid integration of additional sensors.”

All of those are great options to have, but Corbeth emphasizes “this quadruped is also capable of starting work straight out of the box.”




Make no mistake. This robot has been built to thrive in punishing conditions, including operating in water. It’s also very strong, capable of bearing a load of 120kg while standing. Control and perception are managed by multiple processors, including an NVIDIA Jetson Orin NX, three Intel Core i7s and an Intel Core i5. (These can vary if you’re looking for a custom factory build.) Plus, of course, InDro has expertise in modifying all of the Unitree quadrupeds pending client needs.

“InDro Robotics does have the ability to outfit these with any sensors that aren’t standard from Unitree,” explains Corbeth.

Plus, there’s also the option of wheels. The lower legs can be swapped out with wheeled versions. If the B2 is operating on flat terrain these are more efficient than walking.

“This option combines the best of both worlds between a legged and a wheeled robot – you get the speed and efficiency of a wheeled robot, yet with the other legs it can also climb stairs and manage rubble or other obstacles on the ground,” he adds.

And how does this new machine compare to the competition? Unitree says its measured parameters are superior – and there’s agreement from Corbeth.

“Compared with Spot, ANYmal and Ghost Robotics, I think we’re very competitive on the hardware side. I actually think Unitree has got to the point hardware-wise where it’s now superior to pretty much all the other options.”

Have a look for yourself:



As a North American distributor for Unitree, we obviously have faith in their products. We’ve also been partnered long enough to see the company’s commitment to continuously and meticulously advancing its products. These are excellent and durable quadrupeds, as our many clients will attest.

InDro also takes pride in supplementing Unitree’s documentation to get clients up and running quickly, and on those rare occasions when something goes wrong – we know how to repair them.

“Unitree is quickly becoming a world leader in the quadruped sector,” says InDro Robotics CEO Philip Reece.

“The new models are exceptionally well-built, with significant gains in power, run-time and processing abilities. Plus, add-ons like the InDro Backpack make these quadrupeds even more versatile for virtually any use-case scenario.”

Interested? Get in touch with us HERE to arrange a demo.

A closer look at Unitree’s growing line of quadruped robots

A closer look at Unitree’s growing line of quadruped robots

By Scott Simmie


If you follow InDro, you’ve likely heard bits and pieces about the Unitree line of robots by now. The Chinese firm specialises in quadruped robots – the ones that always remind people of dogs.

And while some of the Unitree line can indeed pull a few tricks, they’re serious machines. That’s why InDro became a North American distributor of the products. They’ve proven popular with clients, and InDro has done some serious modifications to enhance their capabilities for broader use-cases.

So we thought we’d take a spin through the Unitree line today, with some help from Account Executive Luke Corbeth. He knows these machines inside-out, and is usually the person behind the controls when we’re off at a trade show.



Back in 2013, there was no Unitree. But there was a student named Wang Xinxing, who worked hard on building a quadruped as part of his studies at Shanghai University. His vision? To build a powerful quadruped robot powered by low-cost, external brushless motors (think of the dog’s shoulders and hips). Wang took that vision and began working – and working.

He designed and tested legs. Worked on the robot’s control system, including designing motor drive boards, the entire master-slave architecture, the power supply – and much more. At the end of that long and focused process, a working quadruped Wang called XDog (where “X” means “mystery) began walking.

First, XDog was tethered in the lab. But before long, it was out in the wild.

Wang published some of that early R&D on a YouTube channel, which he still maintains. Here’s a look back to XDog in the lab. The description says this video was pulled together in 2014-2015.



That student project – with a lot of further work – would eventually lead to the founding of Unitree in 2016. The firm became one of the first in the world to retail a quadruped. And it continues to put great emphasis on R&D. Here’s a snippet from its website:

“Unitree attaches great importance to independent research and development and technological innovation, fully self-researching key core robot components such as motors, reducers, controllers, LiDAR and high-performance perception and motion control algorithms, integrating the entire robotics industry chain, and reaching global technological leadership in the field of quadruped robots. At present, we have applied for more than 150 domestic patents and granted more than 100 patents, and we are a national high-tech certified enterprise.”

Now, Unitree sells multiple quadrupeds – with more on the way. 

Unitree Go1



This affordable robot comes with a lot of capabilites packed in.

Onboard EDGE computing is done by a Jetson Xavier NX. Five sets of fisheye binocular depth-sensing cameras allow the GO1 EDU to see its surroundings from the front, bottom, and sides. AI allows it to detect and classify humans. The robot can also walk alongside a person, rather than the “follow” mode often seen in similar machines.

The GO1 EDU is capable of navigating complex terrain, climbing stairs – even jumping over small obstacles. With a top speed of 14km/hour (3.7m/sec), the long-range GO1 can carry out even extended missions before requiring recharging.

And while the GO1 EDU is capable of carrying out inspection and surveillance work, there are other Unitree products more suited to that use-case. This machine, we’ve found, is best suited to those interested in R&D.

“The EDU version is designed to enable development,” explains Account Executive Luke Corbeth.

“So universities, corporate innovation centres, research institutes – anyone trying to find new ways for quadruped robots to understand their surroundings, plan their motion. Also ways to improve its gait, its ability to move in unpredictable terrain. Those are the sorts of things that are intriguing to this clientele.”

The GO1 has also proven to be appealing for proof-of-concept scenarios.

“Think of real-world applications like construction monitoring, inspections, security,” says Corbeth. “You can do that on a small scale on a budget, prove what you want the ideal workflow to look like, then scale up to one of the larger units.”

In addition to those capabilities, the GO1 EDU also has a playful side. There are a number of pre-programmed moves that make this robot suitable for entertainment applications. It has proven popular on stage with choreographed events and is (as we know) a hit at trade shows.



Unitree GO2



Unitree is set to release the GO2 shortly.

This machine does everything the GO1 EDU can do…and a whole lot more. If you look at the image above, you’ll notice the addition of a new sensor – right in the spot where a traditional dog’s mouth would be. That’s a LiDAR unit, and it significantly enhances the capability of the robot.

The L1 4D LiDAR sensor covers 360° x 90° in real-time. That means the GO2 can scan its surroundings in great detail, allowing for Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) as the GO2 moves in its environment. With a mininum detection distance as low as 0.05 metres, no detail will escape the GO2. Equally impressive is the robot’s Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), a neural network that helps GO2 understand and communicate with humans. (And if you’re wondering why they call that LiDAR “4D” – it’s because it can be tilted. So no, it’s not actually capturing in a fourth dimension – but it is versatile.)

The new machine, expected in Q4 2023, is also exceedingly nimble. There are some pretty serious algorithms onboard, and the quadruped is capable of descending stairs on its front two legs alone. Its 8,000mAh battery ensures it’s capable of long-range missions and a 15,000mAh ultra-long life battery is available as an option. The GO2’s voltage was bumped to 28.8V, which means this dog has more power and stability – and can trot along at an impressive 18 kilometres per hour. Software upgrades are carried out wirelessly from a cloud-based network.

“With the addition of the LiDAR unit, the GO2 will appeal to many in the R&D space – particularly those interested in SLAM and autonomous operations,” says Corbeth. “It’s also at a really impressive price point for its capabilities.”

He’s not kidding. Check this out:



Looking for a serious robot for industrial applications? Something with a lot of power, and all-but impervious to even the most extreme weather conditions? Whether it’s remotely monitoring a key outdoor asset or making the rounds of a construction site or sensitive facility, the B1 is more than capable. The 50-kilogram machine is built for business, and can support payloads of up to 100 kilograms. It could easily carry critical supplies on a Search and Rescue mission, in addition to a myriad of sensors. (It can even carry a person on its back, as you’ll soon see.)

The machine is also exceedingly rugged. The B1 has earned an impressive IP68 Ingress Protection rating, meaning it can basically walk underwater – or brave a raging dust storm – with no issues. The robot has been built to withstand punishing conditions that would actually be dangerous for people (just one of the many advantages of robots). LiDAR is available as an option with the B1, allowing for SLAM, Search and Rescue applications, and more.

“This is the model that is most comparable to the Boston Dynamics ‘Spot’ – which is what most people think of when they think quadruped,” says Corbeth. “It also has a higher step height, which makes stairs a lot easier.”

Given its power and flexibility – multiple sensors can be added to the B1 depending on the use-case – this is the machine Corbeth feels is most suited to enterprise/industrial applications.

“This is the one I feel comfortable deploying into the real world at scale over a prolonged period of time. It’s a robust, dependable data collection asset that can be configured to excel at multiple applications.”

And when we said it could go underwater – we weren’t kidding:




Even S&R applications – along with data acquisition to assist firefighters – are possible with a specially-outfitted B1:



The Unitree products are all great on their own. But InDro has developed an add-on that greatly enhances their capabilities. We call it the InDro Backpack, and it significantly improves the capabilities of the GO1 EDU, B1 – and will also be compatible with the GO2 at release.

In a nutshell, the backpack enables:

  • Remote teleoperation over 4G or 5G networks
  • Simple and intuitive interface for real-time, hands-on control of the robots
  • Monitoring of real-time individual sensor output in separate, configurable windows
  • Rapid integration of additional sensors without the hassle

We’ve written previously about the InDro Backpack, which is based on our highly popular InDro Commander.

“Out of the box, the Unitree GO1 has an app. But it’s not the greatest at managing all of the camera feeds,” says Corbeth. “Through the ROCOS dashboard, it’s a lot easier to see each of the feeds and get the most out of the impressive hardware that’s in the units. There are five sets of cameras and three sets of ultrasonic sensors – so we can really ensure the client is getting the most out of those.”

The software libraries onboard the Backpack also make any Unitree a fully ROS-enabled robot, which greatly expands their capabilities.

“That’s what makes Backpack valuable to the R&D community,” says Corbeth. “It means clients have access to all available packages to enable a wide range of applications, be it autonomous navigation, perception, motion planning, multi-robot systems – packages to ensure they can really jump-start their project. That’s the InDro value-add.”


InDro BackPack



Or how ’bout an arm? Here, Unitree has you covered.

The company has developed the Z1, a highly dexterous manipulator. Lightweight but powerful, the Z1 has the option for multiple actuators/end effectors. Whether the task is opening a door or pick-and-place using optical recognition and AI, the Z1 can get it done.

“The world is built for humans and humans have the unique ability to open doors, move levers, press switches. A platform without a manipulator is incapable of interacting with the human world the way that a robot with a manipulator can,” explains Corbeth.

The Z1 can be mounted directly onto the Unitree B1. (We’ve mounted one and have to say it’s pretty impressive.)

“The Z1 is a highly capable manipulator with six degrees of freedom,” says Corbeth. “We are even looking at integrating it with some of the AgileX products we distribute.”

Plus, when compared with other robotic arms with similar capabilities, the Z1 comes in at an attractive price point.

“It’s exceptional value for money. I believe the Z1 will really reduce the barriers to entry – allowing clients to use this hardware to create proof-of-concepts, carry out studies, and just do general research and development with the unit.”


Below: Check out the Z1 in this Unitree video



InDro is obviously pleased to be a North American distributor of Unitree products.

But we’re also pretty picky. We wanted to develop a relationship with a company that makes excellent products at a reasonable price, as well as a company that continues to push the envelope. Unitree was a perfect fit.

“If you look at their track record of new product launches and constant improvement and development, they work at a faster clip than anyone else. And that’s also a really good fit with how we do things at InDro,” says Corbeth.

“They’re constantly tweaking things so that their products are perfectly suited for the situations their clients want them to be used in. I’m personally a big fan of these robots – and our own customers have been really pleased, as well.”

You can find more details on the Unitree line – including downloadable spec sheets – right here.

And if you’d like a no-pressure conversation about how a Unitree might fit into your business or research plans, Luke Corbeth would be happy to chat and arrange a demo.