Boston Dynamics – the maker of those robot videos you see all over the interwebs and, frankly, the masterminds behind our new robot overlords – announced that it was making the “explorer version” of Spot, its quadraped model, available for sale at just US$74,500. This marked the first time the company has made any of its robots available for sale. Previously, Spot was only available through a short-term lease program.
To drive sales, Boston Dynamics has released a new commercial demonstrating Spot’s abilities which, depending on how you view things, is paints a wonderful Spot-assisted future or a downright dystopian robot-doggie nightmare:
The world has already seen Spot at work: in New Zealand herding sheep, in Singapore promoting safe physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and even being used by the Massachusetts State Police as part of its bomb squad.
Boston Dynamics claims Spot is able to navigate terrain that may be more difficult for wheeled or tracked robots as well as constrained locations difficult for drones. Spot is controlled (for now?) using a remote control or through an application programming interface. You can also purchase add-ons for spot, including a premium service place for $15,000 or an additional battery for $4,620.
Here’s the ad Boston Dynamics released when announcing that Spot was for sale:
Down boy, down… please…?