Dog-like robots now on sale for $75,000, with conditions

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FILE – In this May 24, 2018, file photo, a Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot walks through a conference room during a robotics summit in Boston. Boston Dynamics on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 started selling its four-legged Spot robots online for just under $75,000 each. The agile robots can walk, climb stairs and open doors. But people who buy them online must agree not to arm them or intentionally use them as weapons, among other conditions.

You can now buy one of those unnerving animal-like robots you might have seen on YouTube — so long as you don’t plan to use it to harm or intimidate anyone.

Boston Dynamics on Tuesday started selling its four-legged Spot robots online for just under $75,000 each.

The agile robots can walk, climb stairs and observe their surroundings with cameras and other sensors. But people who buy them online must agree not to arm them or intentionally use them as weapons, among other conditions.

“The key goal for us is to make sure people trust robots,” Michael Perry, the company’s vice president for business development, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Somebody wanted to use Spot for a haunted house and we said no to that. It frames the robot in a negative context.”

The terms and conditions state that “Spot is an amazing robot, but is not certified safe for in-home use or intended for use near children or others who may not appreciate the hazards associated with its operation.”

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Boston Dynamics’ Spot is leaving the laboratory

A new leasing program is putting dozens of robots to work in the real world

Boston Dynamics is letting its first major robot out of the lab.

Since June, the company has been talking about a public release for its Spot robot (formerly SpotMini), and today, it finally gave some details about what’s in store. The Spot isn’t going on sale exactly, but if you’re a company with a good idea (and some money), you’ll be able to get one. That also means, for the average person on the street, that the odds of seeing a Spot in the wild just got a lot better.

The capabilities are more or less what the company showed off in June, but it’s still impressive to see them in person. The Spot can go where you tell it, avoid obstacles, and keep its balance under extreme circumstances — which are all crucial skills if you’re trying to navigate an unknown environment.

The Spot can also carry up to four hardware modules on its back, giving companies a way to swap in whatever skills the robot needs for this particular job. If it’s checking for gas leaks, you can build in a methane detector. If you need connectivity over longer distances, you can attach a mesh radio module. Boston Dynamics is already outfitting units with LIDAR rigs from Velodyne (a favorite component for self-driving car projects) to create 3D maps of indoor spaces. Since the Spot is designed to work in the rain, outdoor spaces are on the table, too.

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Boston Dynamics’ first consumer product might be a battle bot

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Boston Dynamics’ faintly terrifying quadruped dog robot—SpotMini—was first announced in 2016 and is expected to go on sale later this year. The robot has a whole lot of whizzy sensors and cameras, spindly mechanical legs, a creepy grabber arm that opens doors, and mind-bogglingly impressive robotics technology. (It’s expected to carry a five-digit price tag—a fitting sum to bring the uncanny valley direct to your home.)

But it’s never been very clear what, exactly, the point of Spot is—especially as a consumer product.

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Watch 10 Boston Dynamics’ robot dogs pull a truck in a slightly terrifying display of raw power

C0A0F61C-890C-4E40-A5CD-E30602650460How many robot dogs does it take to pull a massive truck? Apparently 10. Boston Dynamics

  • Boston Dynamics is back with another bizarre video starring its animal-like robots.
  • The latest video features 10 of the dog-like “SpotMini” robots pulling a truck across the company’s parking lot.
  • Unlike some of the sillier videos from Boston Dynamics, this one demonstrates the raw power of the company’s robots.

The doglike robots from Boston Dynamics are back with another video, but this time the video is less about virality and more focused on demonstrating the machines’ raw power.

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Boston Dynamics will start selling its dog-like SpotMini robot in 2019

TC Sessions: Robotics 2018

After 26 years, Boston Dynamics is finally getting ready to start selling some robots. Founder Marc Raibert says that the company’s dog-like SpotMini robot is in pre-production and preparing for commercial availability in 2019. The announcement came onstage at TechCrunch’s TC Sessions: Robotics event today at UC Berkeley.

“The SpotMini robot is one that was motivated by thinking about what could go in an office — in a space more accessible for business applications — and then, the home eventually,” Raibert said onstage.

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WildCat: Boston Dynamic’s new robot that can run and gallop

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WildCat is the newest creation from Boston Dynamics. With a frame that’s somewhat reminiscent of their previous quadruped robot, LS3 (also referred to as mule), WildCat is actually more closely related to a cheetah. Either way you look at it, WildCat is a step forward for robotics.

 

 

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