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Boston Dynamics Drops Commercial For ‘Spot’ Robot Dog
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Robotics company Boston Dynamics has teased the world with surreal footage of its creations for years now, always hinting at possible uses, as well as motives for revenge, for its machines. But now, on this day, September 24, 2019, comes the first real commercial from the 27-year-old company, and it’s for a streamlined version of its robot dog. Everybody, say hello to Spot(s).

While Boston Dynamics has been delivering videos of one variation or another of Spot for ten years — witch each iteration shockingly more agile than the last — this is apparently the first commercial for the now “mass produced” product’s most streamlined version. The video is dubbed “Spot Launch,” and if you don’t feel like you’re in an episode of Black Mirror after you watch it, then all we can say is that you clearly haven’t seen Black Mirror.

The first peek at this iteration of Spot came in 2017, when Boston Dynamics released a video titled “The New SpotMini.” The video, which currently has more than 16 million views, went viral, but details were scant. Although at the end of the video, there was a brief bit of text that said, “coming soon.”

Cut to 2019. Soon is now, and here we are with BD delivering on its commitment to release these robotic quadrupeds to the public. The commercial claims that Spot has a top speed of 3 mph, a battery life of 90 minutes, 360-degree cameras for obstacle avoidance, two payload ports, the ability to carry up to roughly 30 pounds, rain and dust protection, and a build so reliable it can operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 45°C. Plus, it self-rights after it falls.

A GIF of Spot getting up from the first Boston Dynamics Spot Commercial

No price yet for Spot, but we’re going to guess that it’s prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of people. Boston Dynamics does say that early customers are already using Spot. Tasks include monitoring construction sites, providing remote inspections for gas, oil, and power installations, and even for “public safety.”

And if the idea of Spot’s public safety capability scares you a bit, remember that it’s probably only a matter of time before Boston Dynamics brings its humanoid Atlas robot to market. Speaking of which, Boston Dynamics released a new video of Atlas doing a gymnastics routine simultaneously with its robot dog Spot commercial. There’s no “coming soon” message at the end of this Atlas video, but it’ll be a serious trip when these bipedal box carriers begin to supplement the workforce.

What do you think of the first commercial for Spot? Are you excited at the idea of having a robot dog around your house? Or are you already preparing some kind of EMP device in your basement? Let us know in the comments!

And if you want more great science stories, check out a breakdown of Greta Thunberg’s outrage; Spanish Stonehenge re-emerges after 50 years; NASA explains what Dark Energy is.

Images: Boston Dynamics