Boston Dynamics' robot dog is now available for select customers

CNN Technology 1 month ago
Boston Dynamics' latest robot can open a door and hold it while you walk inside.

Remember that robot dog that went viral a few years ago? The one that can run uphill, climb stairs, and looks like the killer robot dogs in the TV show "Black Mirror"? It's now available for select customers.

Boston Dynamics, the company behind the dog, which is named Spot, released a video on Tuesday advertising its launch. It shows Spot navigating 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 show off Spot's capabilities -- for instance, it can run at 1.6 meters per second (about 5.2 feet per second), has 360-degree cameras that give it a full range of vision, is dust- and water-proof, and can operate in temperatures ranging from -20 to 45 degrees Celsius (-4 to 113 Fahrenheit).

    Unfortunately for people hoping for a new robot pet, Spot isn't available for everyone. It's being shipped to "select early customers" to be used in construction sites, gas and power installations, and in public safety, according to Boston Dynamics. To get one, companies in those industries need to submit an application on the site.

    There's no price listed, but roboticists have estimated that it could cost as much as a new car.

    Boston Dynamics first introduced Spot in 2015, when it was still in development. That first viral video collected 22.7 million views, and additional videos of Spot have continued to draw millions of views over the years. After all, this is a robot dog who can twerk and moonwalk, and who won over sympathy on social media when the company released a video of researchers kicking the dog to demonstrate its balance.

    Spot also has a little brother -- SpotMini, which stands at two and a half feet (about 0.76 meters). It can roll over, put objects in a dishwasher, open doors, and bring its owner a cold drink from the fridge. SpotMini is also set to become commercially available in 2019, the company said last year.

    The Spot robot dog, showcased by Boston Dynamics on June 4, 2019.
    The Spot robot dog, showcased by Boston Dynamics on June 4, 2019.

    Some of Boston Dynamics' other products are a little less cuddly. Using funding from the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the United States Marine Corps, Boston Dynamics has also developed quadruped robots that can follow soldiers and carry 400 pounds of gear. Another robot, funded by the US Army, can jump 30 feet high and is designed for reconnaissance.

    It seems like Spot and SpotMini in particular have captured a special place in the popular imagination -- and people are torn on whether to feel inspired or terrified. On the one hand, people often anthropomorphize Spot, as evidenced by the controversy over the Spot-kicking video. "Kicking a dog, even a robot dog, just seems so wrong," one person wrote on Twitter. It's easy to understand why -- it moves just like a real dog, lying down on the rug and staggering after losing its balance.

      On the other hand, the pop culture trope of robot uprisings and depictions of robot-inflicted violence (like the Black Mirror episode) have also caused alarm. A parody video of robots fighting back against its "Bosstown Dynamics" operators gained 10 million views, and even Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert joked in 2017 that a new product was "a nightmare inducing robot."

      Boston Dynamics started in 1992 as a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was purchased by Google in 2013. Four years later, Google sold Boston Dynamics to Japan's SoftBank -- one of the companies behind Pepper, which has been billed as the world's first robot capable of reading human emotions.


      Source link
      Read also:
      Business Insider › Technology › 1 month ago
      Robotics company Boston Dynamics has begun leasing out one of its robots for the first time ever. It's leasing out Spot, a dog-like robot which it says could be used for inspecting building sites or oil and gas facilities. Boston Dynamics' VP of...
      ABC News › Finance › 1 month ago
      FILE - In this May 24, 2018, file photo, a Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot is walks through a conference room during a robotics summit in Boston. The Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group says it’s in talks with robot-maker Boston Dynamics about using the f
      BBC News › Technology › 1 month ago
      Boston Dynamics demos techniques that let its Atlas robot blend its movements together more fluidly.
      RT › 1 month ago
      The Boston Dynamics humanoid robot Atlas has channeled his inner Simone Biles to put on a gymnastics display showcasing the machine’s uncanny fluidity of movement. Read Full Article at RT.com
      ABC News › 1 month ago
      The Boston Dynamics robot somersaulted and spun with near perfect balance.
      Business Insider › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
      Verizon is offering its customers a free year of Disney's upcoming streaming service, Disney Plus. The offer is available to new and existing Verizon Wireless customers, new Fios Home Internet customers, and new 5G Home Internet customers. Disney Plus...
      Business Insider › Finance › 1 month ago
      JPMorgan's You Invest, a one-year-old digital retail investing service, has started rolling out options trading for select customers and expanding to more people in the coming months. You Invest launched automated portfolios this summer, and is now...
      The Sun › 25 minutes ago
      DOG CRATES get a mixed response from pet owners and canine activists. While some owners find them incredibly useful and insist their pups love them, others worry crates are cruel. According to the RSPCA, dog crates can be helpful for five main reasons...
      CNET › Technology › 2 weeks ago
      Robot vacuums are smarter and faster than ever before. Here are the best models you can buy right now.
      CNN › Entertainment › 1 month ago
      A tale of two series: "Mr. Robot" returns with a spring in its step Sunday, clicking on all cylinders in gearing up toward its finish; while "The Walking Dead" lumbers into its 10th season, hitting familiar notes.
      Sign In

      Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

      Continue with Google
      OR