Monday, 28 May, 2018

Boston Dynamics' dog-like SpotMini robots will go on sale in 2019

Boston Dynamics Plans to Start Selling Their Robot Dog 'SpotMini' Year YouTube Boston Dynamics
Velma Reese | 16 May, 2018, 02:22

The announcement came onstage at TechCrunch's TC Sessions: Robotics event today at UC Berkeley.

SpotMini is an advanced four-legged robot from Boston Dynamics, who's made quite a name for themselves over the years by posting videos of their robots running around, autonomously following instructions while often being cruelly hit with sticks to determine how well they can handle obstacles.

"The SpotMini robot ... is one that was motivated by thinking about something that could go in an office-in a more accessible place for business applications".

At a robotics conference in California, the company's founder Marc Raibert announced that the slightly creepy SpotMini was now in pre-production and scheduled for large-scale production and general availability from middle of 2019. The robot will also scan its surroundings in real-time to help it avoid collisions. It weighs in at 66 pounds and can go for around 90 minutes on a single charge. They would start to scale production with the aim of selling the SpotMinis next year.

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In the first SpotMini video from 2016, we're shown the original robot performing various chores around the house, including loading up the dishwasher and throwing away trash.

Only ten prototypes exist now, so there isn't a firm release date and there's no official price tag either. However, it will be much cheaper than an earlier model as the latest model cost ten times less to build than the prototype before it. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese Tokyo-based conglomerate the SoftBank group.

You can run but it wouldn't do you any good - this robot can run after you. After being under Google parent Alphabet for a while, the firm was acquired by Japan's SoftBank past year. Boston Robotics is a pioneer in the robotics field and one of the most advanced in the area.

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