Boston Dynamics is making its canine robot, Spot, available to the market in limited numbers and to select customers. (See video.)
This is the first time Spot will be on sale and most of Boston Dynamics’ robots are still in various stages of research and development, most famously perhaps its humanoids, but also its unusual “Handle” material handling robot, which is basically a robotic arm on two wheels.
Boston Dynamics describes Spot as “a nimble robot that climbs stairs and traverses rough terrain with unprecedented ease, yet is small enough to use indoors”.
It adds that Spot is “built to be a rugged and customizable platform, Spot autonomously accomplishes your industrial sensing and remote operation needs”.
Spot can walk almost exactly like a dog, which reflects Boston Dynamics’ much-lauded achievement in mimicking natural movement, similar to its humanoids.
Spot can also claim stairs and “go where wheeled robots cannot”. It has a payload of 14 kg, and the company lists some environments it is designed for.
- oil and gas; and
- public safety.
Spot can operate in a variety of temperature environments – from hot, with temperatures of up to 45ºC, and cold, down to -20ºC.
It has 360º vision and has a top speed of 1.6 metres per second. It lasts 90 minutes on one swappable battery.
Additionally, Spot is customisable.