If you found yourself trembling with fear at the sight of Boston Dynamics' updated SpotMini dog-like robot when it bounded into view last November, then you're going to suffer a full-on meltdown when you see the latest version. Atlas, the name given to this particular robot, can be seen jogging through a park before jumping over a log easily in a new video. Monikered SpotMini, the tenth and final iteration of the robot is now in pre-production stage and will hit the shelves in 2019. Raibert thinks that wheeled platforms can only go so far and that legs are the answer to most human environments. After almost three decades, Boston Dynamics will finally begin selling its robots, beginning with none other than the SpotMini.
Boston Dynamics President Marc Raibert has confirmed at a conference that the company will start selling the SpotMini robot from next year.
"We are now taking the next step, combining the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and software for perception, navigation, and intelligence", the founders state on the company website. It can operate for about 90 minutes on a charge.
The SpotMini "comfortably fits in an office or home".
There is no word yet on pricing. The robot will also scan its surroundings in real-time to help it avoid collisions.
The video demonstrates what this can look like from the machine's point of view; it showed an internal map of the SpotMini navigating from one point to the next, fully aware it needed to turn a corner. Along with a manufacturing partner, Boston Dynamics is building 100 units this year for commercial use, which will be made available to purchase next year.
The result? Spot aces it, including some particularly challenging stairs, and all while looking like a training video for the actual "Black Mirror" episode we mentioned above.