Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Boston Dynamics to start selling its dog-like robot next year

Boston Dynamics to start selling its dog-like robot next year

Boston Dynamics President Marc Raibert has confirmed at a conference that the company will start selling the SpotMini robot from next year. The video also shows Atlas successfully tackling an obstacle in its path in the form of a wooden log by stopping in an ungainly manner and jumping over it.

What's so unnerving is the way that it runs, completely non-plussed by the rough terrain and even leaping over any obstacles that get in its way.

The SpotMini has just learned how to climb a bunch of stairs, as we've seen the past week, and its agility might make him quite nimble when it comes to search and rescue operations.

"That's a prelude to getting into a higher rate of production" in anticipation of sales next year, Raibert said. It's unclear who will be able to buy them and for how much. On the company's website, the robot is described as "a small four-legged robot that comfortably fits in an office or home".

Boston Dynamics was bought from Google's parent company, Alphabet, by Japanese firm SoftBank in August past year, but it looks as though developments are surging ahead.

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Boston Dynamics said the company has plans with contract manufacturers to produce the first 100 SpotMinis later this year for "commercial purposes". It can operate for about 90 minutes on a charge.

The most recent SpotMini design appears to incorporate sensors on the front and sides of its main body that help it understand its environment.

Third-parties will be able to develop systems to mount to SpotMini for different applications, but Raibert said Boston Dynamics was working on a few systems itself.

Boston Dynamics has been developing a range of robots, each with their own skills.

In any case, we're looking forward to seeing the SpotMini in the flesh (or its robotic equivalent).

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