After years of improvements from video to video, agile mobile robots are entering mass production. Boston Dynamics is selling a new Spot robot (formerly SpotMini). Or more specifically: Early adopters can submit an application to lease them. From ieee Spectrum:
Boston Dynamics says it wants to get Spots out to initial customers that “either have a compelling use case or a development team that we believe can do something really interesting with the robot,” says VP of business development Michael Perry. “Just because of the scarcity of the robots that we have, we’re going to have to be selective about which partners we start working together with…”
When we pressed the company for at least an approximate base price, Perry answered: “Our general guidance is that the total cost of the early adopter program lease will be less than the price of a car—but how nice a car will depend on the number of Spots leased and how long the customer will be leasing the robot.”
This video profile of Spot from The Verge, above, is comprehensive, explaining how Spot stays upright and how modules like methane detectors or LIDAR rigs can send Spots into buildings to complete jobs semi-automomously.
Host Russell Brandom also addresses the discomfort or “creepiness” humans might feel in the presence of this technology, as well as the company’s specific concerns about safety and how the robots are used or may be used in the future. How would you use a robot like this?
Boston Dynamics was owned by Google until they were acquired by Japanese telecom company SoftBank. Below, the company’s Spot launch commercial:
There are so many videos about robots on TKSST.
Watch more from Boston Dynamics, MIT’s backflipping mini cheetah quadruped robot, soccer-playing robots, Anthropomorphism in Robots, Madeline the Robot Tamer, Festo’s robot animals, and the robot workers at Amazon.
Bonus: Robot – Mysteries of vernacular.