Robot dog from Boston Dynamics now available to select customers

Spot robot dog
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Boston Dynamics has launched its Spot robot dog via a video featuring its capabilities and is now available to select customers.

Boston Dynamics released a video showing the robot dog passing through challenging terrain, picking up construction objects, moving through bad weather, and picking itself up after a fall. The video and the product launch page also detail the dog’s other features and capabilities, including its ability to run at 1.6 meters per second, its 360-degree cameras that give it a full range of vision, its dust- and water-proof built, and capacity to operate in extreme temperatures form -20 to 45 degrees Celsius.

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While purchasing a unit of the robot dog could be appealing to some people, the company emphasized that Spot will only be available to select early customers for use in construction sites, gas and power installations, and in public safety. Companies belonging to those fields would need to submit an application in order to purchase a unit.

No price was indicated for the robot but estimates from roboticists place it in the price range of a new car.

Spot was introduced by the company in 2015 during its development and a video featuring the robot dog went viral, getting 22.7 million views, spurring several other videos.

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Spot’s smaller iteration, the SpotMini, which measures two and a half feet in height, can roll over, put objects in a dishwasher, open doors, and bring a cold drink from the fridge to its owner. Boston Dynamics said that the SpotMini is also scheduled for commmercial release in 2019.

Meanwhile, the company has also developed quadruped robots for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the United States Marine Corps. These robots are capable of following soldiers and carrying 400 pounds of gear. A US Army-funded robot was also created by the company, which has the ability to jump 30 feet high and will be used for reconnaissance.