Boston Dynamics will start to sell robots-dogs


Following on from the viral success of the dog that opened doors and went downstairs, the robotics company Boston Dynamics has now released a video of a model which can run with eerie similarity to a human.

Although the new video doesn't show Atlas doing anything drastically different from previous videos, it does show Atlas jumping forwards over an obstacle.

"SpotMini's development was motivated by thinking about something that could go in an office or accessible place for businesses purposes, or a home eventually", said Raibert on stage at TC Sessions: Robotics at UC Berkeley. Clearly, the company is making progress with its next generation robots and how they can navigate the world. It has scared some people though, as Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker specifically based the killer robots from the black and white episode "Metalhead" on SpotMini.

The four-legged robot weighs 25kg and can pick up and handle objects using its 5 degree-of-freedom arm and perception sensors. It can move around for up to 90 minutes on a single charge. At a TechCrunch conference last week, the company announced its plans to work with manufacturers to build about 100 dog-like robots. While there's no word yet on price, the company has said that the SpotMini prototype was 10 times less expensive than its older sibling.

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The first version SpotMini walked, skated, and even placed items in the dishwasher. "We're also looking at construction".

On its website, Boston Dynamics highlights that SpotMini is the "quietest robot [they] have built".

But that's not what Boston Dynamics had in mind for it. Atlas, for example, has the remarkable ability to perform a ideal backflip, though it's not always so steady on its feet.

Updated on May 13: The SpotMini will go on sale in 2019.