Chinese Xiaomi unveils a humanoid robot that looks like a Tesla

  • Last week, Xiaomi posted a video of CyberOne, a robot that closely resembles Tesla’s Optimus designs.
  • Elon Musk said that a prototype of Tesla’s robot could be revealed as soon as possible in September.
  • Xiaomi’s new bot could offer insight into what to expect for Tesla’s AI Day.

Xiaomi beat Tesla to build a functional humanoid robot, but the design of the CyberOne robot looks eerily similar to the electric car maker Optimus.

Last week, the Chinese tech company unveiled its first look at CyberOne during a live event in Beijing. The humanoid robot was able to walk across the stage and appears to be communicating with Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun.

Tesla is expected to reveal more details about its robot in September at the automaker’s second annual Artificial Intelligence Day. Elon Musk said Tesla may have an Optimus prototype ready by September 30.

Until then, Xiaomi’s new bot could offer insight into what we can expect from a Tesla bot.

A Xiaomi spokesperson would not comment on the similarities between the CyberOne and Tesla designs.

Although Tesla’s Optimus reveal included a man in a spandex suit, Musk shared several images of the Tesla bot concept design at an AI event.

Tesla Optimus

Tesla Optimus

Courtesy of Tesla

Much like Tesla’s Optimus, the CyberOne stands five feet eight inches tall. The robot also has the same minimalist black and white design, including an LED display instead of a face. Despite that, CyberOne looks a little bulkier.

CyberOne with Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun

CyberOne with Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun

Courtesy of Xiaomi

Both Tesla and Xiaomi’s robotic bots draw a strong contrast with Boston Dynamic’s larger and more ingenious robot, Atlas.

Robot Atlas (Boston Dynamics)


Xiaomi also said in its press release that the robot has the ability to detect human emotions — a feature that Musk discovered, claiming that the Tesla robot could eventually develop a unique personality and even become a companion to humans.

The CyberOne can move at a top speed of about 2.2 mph, just shy of Tesla’s planned 5 mph. Unlike the Optimus designs, the CyberOne has gloved hands that can be opened and closed, but it doesn’t seem to do much.

The Chinese tech company is known to outperform the designs of other tech companies. Over the past decade, the company has repeatedly released smartphones and internal updates that are almost indistinguishable from Apple iPhone and iOS software. In 2014, Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive accused Xiaomi of committing “theft”. An accusation that was denied by Lin Bean, one of the founders of Xiaomi at the time. Last year, Xiaomi overtook Apple to become the world’s second largest seller of smartphones.

Unlike Tesla, Xiaomi doesn’t seem to have any plans to turn CyberOne into some kind of human server. In its press release, the company says that CyberOne will “generate more application scenarios in other areas,” emphasizing that the robot will serve as a marketing tool rather than a major product.

Take a look at the robot for yourself.

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