Boston Dynamics raised a lot of eyebrows earlier this year when it announced it would be making one of its robots commercially available by the end of this year. But this week the company officially announced that its dog-like robot, Spot, is now available for order via the company website.
Spot is a four-legged, animal-like robot that the company is pushing less as a singular-use machine and more as a customizable platform that can be adapted to a range of tasks. The base unit has sensors and cameras allowing for 360-degree vision for navigation (including rough terrain and climbing stairs) and obstacle avoidance. It can move at a speed of 1.6 m/s, carry a payload of up to 14 kg (about 31 lbs), and run for 90 minutes on one charge of its swappable battery. It can be operated via remote control or function autonomously.
Where Boston Dynamics hopes the value for Spot will be found is in its level of customization.
Spot can be customized with the addition of hardware, such as an articulating grabber arm, or with specialized sensors. The company has also released two software development kits (SDKs) along with Spot.