Boston Dynamics, the Massachusetts-based company that builds increasingly sophisticated robots that enjoy opening doors, has released two more videos of its robots doing very clever things that will definitely not come back to haunt humanity at a later date.
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.
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"SpotMini's development was motivated by thinking about something that could go in an office or accessible place for businesses purposes, or a home eventually", said Raibert on stage at TC Sessions: Robotics at UC Berkeley.
The SpotMini has just learned how to climb a bunch of stairs, as we've seen the past week, and its agility might make him quite nimble when it comes to search and rescue operations.
Its other projects include Spot, a dog-like robot; Handle, a robot with legs and wheels, which can pick up heavy loads and manoeuvre over tough terrain; and WildCat, the world's fastest robot on four legs. After almost three decades, Boston Dynamics will finally begin selling its robots, beginning with none other than the SpotMini.
On its website, Boston Dynamics highlights that SpotMini is the "quietest robot [they] have built".
It's unclear how much the robots will cost or who will be eligible to purchase them. The device weighs around 66 pounds and can operate for about 90 minutes on a charge. Most of Boston Dynamics' robotics research had been applied in the military until Google bought the Waltham, Massachusetts, company in 2013.
In any case, we're looking forward to seeing the SpotMini in the flesh (or its robotic equivalent).
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