Chinese company XPeng announces self-driving robot unicorn for children

The unicorn's technology will be applied in other areas, like autonomous driving.
The unicorn's technology will be applied in other areas, like autonomous driving. Photo credit: Supplied

Unicorns are famous for farting rainbows and being the national animal of Scotland but if one company has its way, your kids could soon be riding one.

Chinese electric car manufacturer XPeng has announced its plans to release a robotic unicorn, pitching it as a virtual pet you can take for a walk as well as carrying your precious littlies.

He Xiaopeng, co-founder and chief executive of Xpengm said the company was "banking on our capabilities in autonomous driving, voice recognition and smart manufacturing" to move into the robotics field, with the low-speed rideable unicorn its first goal.

The robot, called Little White Dragon but referred to as a unicorn in the video description, will recognise objects, be able to track targets like balls and avoid obstacles in its path.

It will also include emotional interactions and interpret body language according to the video from the company.

The unicorn is being created by XPeng Robotics, a division of the larger company, with hopes lessons learned could be applied to both autonomous driving robocars as well as larger, more adult robots.

He said Xpeng could see a future where its robots were able to do housework as well as provide thrills for kids. In a previous interview He told the South China Morning Post he wanted to "create products that meld technology with mobility".

Unfortunately, for those desperate to take their unicorn for a walk, the timeframe for a public release hasn't been revealed, the Morning Post said.

It's also likely to be expensive too. Boston Robotics' dog Spot will set you back somewhere around US$74,500 (NZ$105,000) so hopefully the unicorns cost a little less.