Thursday, 16 August, 2018

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

Boston Dynamics' dog-like SpotMini robots will go on sale in 2019 This Boston Dynamics robot has probably done more exercise than you today
Kayla Schwartz | 14 May, 2018, 18:15

According to Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert, the company is in the final stages of getting the SpotMini ready for the market as soon as next year. Monikered SpotMini, the tenth and final iteration of the robot is now in pre-production stage and will hit the shelves in 2019.

This content is restricted to site members. Atlas, the name given to this particular robot, can be seen jogging through a park before jumping over a log easily in a new video.

The four-legged robot extends its mechanical arm, turns the door handle and opens it, letting both robots through. It's unclear who will be able to buy them and for how much.

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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What's always been most impressive about Boston Dynamics robots is how they can autonomously navigate around (and sometimes over) obstacles, and SpotMini has become very skilled at walking around indoors and outdoors, turning corners and walking up and down stairs all by itself upon simply hearing the word "go". The device weighs around 66 pounds and can operate for about 90 minutes on a charge. At a TechCrunch conference last week, the company announced its plans to work with manufacturers to build about 100 dog-like robots.

The first version SpotMini walked, skated, and even placed items in the dishwasher.

The most recent SpotMini design appears to incorporate sensors on the front and sides of its main body that help it understand its environment. Most of Boston Dynamics' robotics research had been applied in the military until Google bought the Waltham, Massachusetts, company in 2013. Atlas, for example, has the remarkable ability to perform a ideal backflip, though it's not always so steady on its feet.

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