(Robotic) Dog for Lease: Boston Dynamics’ First Commercial Robot

The crew at Boston Dynamics are rock stars in the world of robotics. The world goes mad every time they release a wry and edgy video showing their robots’ latest advancements (and very often kicking them). Then, everyone sits, waits, and patiently hits refresh at the Boston Dynamics YouTube page until they upload another. It’s been a decade since the Big Dog video went viral, and everyone felt twinges of sympathy pain for the loud metal robot that maybe resembled a dog in the same way that a VW Beetle resembles a beetle. Now, there’s a new robotic dog from Boston Dynamics that’s making waves.

Boston Dynamics makes Spot available to the public

Spot’s been in the works for quite some time. The first Spot video was published in February of 2015.

You can see that Spot’s changed significantly over the past few years.

This is the first commercially available robot from Boston Dynamics. The robots aren’t for sale, however. They’re for lease, and not everyone is going to be able to get one. It’s up to the gang at BD to decide if you deserve a robotic dog or not.

The price tag isn’t being disclosed, either. The vice president of Boston Dynamics says it will cost “about as much as a car”. That is to say, it can vary greatly.

What can Spot do?

  • The robots are remote controlled, and can move 1.6 m/s or 3 mph.
  • They can walk up stairs and across steep and uneven terrain.
  • It has a 90 minute battery life, but you can easily swap out battery packs to get Spot up and moving again quickly.
  • Spot’s stereo cameras provide 360° vision allowing it to avoid collisions with people and obstacles.
  • If Spot topples over anyway, the robotic dog has the ability to pick itself up and get back to work.
  • Spot has IP54 protection against dirt and moisture.
  • It can operate between -20°C and 45°C
  • 14kg payload
  • It has an attachable robotic arm that can open doors and pick up items.

Boston Dynamics envisions Spot immediately benefiting construction, energy, and public safety applications. However, they aren’t quite sure what Spot’s job will be. They plan on working closely with their customers to figure out the best way to implement the robotic dog, and ways to improve it.

With customer feedback from Spot’s real word experience, and the speed at which Boston Dynamics improves their robots — Atlas was a tethered toddler five years ago, and he’s now landing flips and 360° spins — it won’t be long before Spot can benefit even more industries.

Call 479-422-0390 for Indramat support

Can you picture Spot in your facility? Maybe this robot would make an instant impact in your factory, or maybe it would be little more than a novel toy. Part of what makes cobots such an exciting prospect is that they create opportunities for innovative solutions to problems. They aren’t as good at what humans do or what industrial robots do, but they can help bridge the gap in creative ways.

Don’t forget about your robots that drive your business, though. Call 479-422-0390 for service and support on Indramat industrial motion control systems. We offer troubleshooting support, Indramat replacement, and Indramat repair.