American engineering and robotics design company, Boston Dynamics, is now selling its viral four-legged robot Spot. Following years of development, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff has made its machine to any US firm for $74,500 USD, after leasing 150 Spots to businesses last year.
Considered the most advanced mobile robot in the world, the Spot Explorer model, now available for limited sale, can also be upgraded with an array of payload options that increase functionality in various ways. Boston Dynamics notes that the nimble Explorer is a multipurpose “mobility platform” designed with sensors for surveying and data collection. Perfect for patrol and inspection, the robot is for industrial and commercial customers that have tasks that humans cannot effectively complete.
Despite being beloved and feared on the internet for years, Spot is now on sale because of recent software updates coded by Boston Dynamics engineers during the quarantine period. The latest Spot 2.0 update put together allows for more advanced autonomy and navigation features.
Given the restrictions on travel due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Boston Dynamics is now working on remote teleoperation to give customers a chance to test drive Spot in an assault course at the company’s headquarters. Boston Dynamics’ vice president of business development, Michael Perry, notes “If there’s a harmful use, then the license would be invalidated, and the customer wouldn’t be able to use the robot. But obviously, there’s not a lot that we can do ahead of time beyond validating that the purchase is valid, and that the person buying the robot is not on the Department of Commerce watch list or anything along those lines.”
Despite finally being ready for general sale, Boston Dynamics will continue to upgrade Spot as feedback from customers begins to roll in. For those interested in acquiring a Spot Explorer for their commercial business, the machine is available now on Boston Dynamics’ website for $74,500 USD (limited to two per customer, larger order will need to be discussed).