Technology has come on in leaps and bounds in the last decade, delivering advances that were once thought impossible. But nobody realistically thought it would bring us unicorns – until now.
A Chinese electric vehicle company Xpeng Robotics has announced a rideable robotic unicorn called the Little White Dragon.
Aimed at children, the four-legged ‘pet’ is equipped with state-of-the-art motion control, navigation, and AI-powered “emotional interaction” capabilities. It’s also complete with a tiny horn.
The so-called ‘quadruped’ is roughly the height of a small boy, and will use the company’s self-driving vehicle AI technology to help the robot recognize objects and navigate different environments.
No release date has been provided, nor a price tag – although other sophisticated robo-pets can cost as much as $75,000.
The chief executive of the company said the ‘Little White Dragon’ will help the firm build a ‘robotics ecosystem’ for transportation:
“Banking on our capabilities in autonomous driving, voice recognition and smart manufacturing, Xpeng will move into the robotics field by making the most of the technologies we grasp,” said He Xiaopeng, co-founder and chief executive of Xpeng, in a statement. “Our first goal is to churn out a low-speed rideable robotic pony for transport purposes.”
The company’s previous futuristic efforts have focused on everything from Tesla-style self-driving vehicles to fully autonomous flying cars. In July, it revealed the X2, a Blade Runner-esque flying car prototype that it hopes to take to the skies within a decade. NASA recently began test flights of its own ‘air taxi’, in a sign that a sci-fi future may be closer than we think.
Xpeng is one of dozens of self-driving electric vehicle companies in China which are predicted to give Elon Musk’s Tesla a run for their money in the next ten years.