Atlas gets acrobatic as Boston Dynamics finally launches Spot sales
Boston Dynamics’ nimble dog-like Spot robot is finally on sale … technically. And as the robotics company officially launches its first commercial product we are also offered yet another spectacular look at the humanoid Atlas’ growing arsenal of skills, this time demonstrating its incredible gymnastic capabilities.
To formally reveal the commercial launch of Spot, Boston Dynamics has produced an impressive ad highlighting all the robot’s technical specifications. The current commercial iteration of Spot can run for 90 minutes off a single (swappable) battery charge, can carry up to 14 kg (30 lb), operate in temperatures spanning -20° C to 45° C (-4° F to 113° F), and is built to withstand dusty and wet environments.
All these relatively decent specs quite reasonably lead to the question of what commercial applications Spot could be actually used for. Boston Dynamics has been working for some time with early-adopting companies to explore possible industrial applications but practical uses do still seem relatively vague.
“Early customers are already testing Spot to monitor construction sites, provide remote inspection at gas, oil and power installations, and in public safety,” Boston Dynamics says.
The Verge also reports Spot is being investigated by Cirque du Soleil for possible entertainment outcomes, and some police departments are exploring whether the robot could be adapted for bomb disposal purposes. It is all very experimental at this point, however, those interested in buying a Spot can now contact a dedicated sales department to explore the possibility. Of course, no price tag has been publicly attached, so it certainly feels like a case of, if you need to ask how much it is then you can’t afford it.
Accompanying the Spot sales announcement, Boston Dynamics also revealed another in its long line of impressive Atlas robot videos. Atlas is the company’s humanoid robot, and in the past we have seen it rapidly evolve from being first allowed to roam tetherless in 2015, to completing a spectacular parkour routine just three years later.
Now, in what is arguably the robot’s most spectacular video to date, we see Atlas perform a complex gymnastic routine demonstrating amazing balance. The dynamically swift flexibility of Atlas in this new video is simply spectacular with flawlessly smooth motions.
Atlas is still essentially a research robot with no suggestion it will be available commercially in the near future. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering how far Boston Dynamics has come in such a short time, with its robots precariously trying to just walk only a few years ago.
Source: Boston Dynamics