You can finally have your own fully autonomous robot quadruped named Spot – and it only costs $110,000 ($US 74,500).
Spot is the first commercially available robot from US company Boston Dynamics.
The dog-like robot can autonomously navigate tough terrain, inspect dangerous locations, and even handle objects using a claw-like attachment on its back.
The baseline model comes complete with a tablet controller and access to Spot’s API for basic autonomy through its Autowalk feature.
Of course, Spot also has the option of pricey add-ons like a LIDAR and 360 colour camera package for an extra $50,000, or a customisable on-board AI computer that Boston Dynamics is selling for $35,000.
Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, said the tech behind Spot can help solve a broad range of real-world problems.
“The combination of Spot’s sophisticated software and high performance mechanical design enables the robot to augment difficult or dangerous human work,” he said.
“Now you can use Spot to increase human safety in environments and tasks where traditional automation hasn’t been successful.”
Spot had been in the hands of early adopters since September and has already seen some interesting use-cases.
In Singapore, it was used to enforce social distancing in parks by warning people to stay away from one another.
And New Zealand company Rocos had success training Spot to herd sheep.
Aside from herding humans and animals, Boston Dynamics hopes to see Spot used in other commercial applications.
Canadian construction company, Pomerleau, equipped Spot with a 360 degree camera and sent it around a 46,000 square metre project to take photos for analysis.
Pomerleau estimated that Spot saved around 20 hours per week worth of employee effort by autonomously collecting the data.
Boston Dynamics also promotes Spot as a telehealth robot that can help doctors interact with patients from a distance using an iPad attached to the robot.
The company is still researching ways to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs like temperature, heart rate, and oxygen saturation with the little yellow robot.
If unusual personal transport is more your thing, former host of TV’s Mythbusters, Adam Savage, customised a Spot robot to pull him around in a rickshaw.
For the best part of a decade, Boston Dynamics has been foreshadowing the robot apocalypse with videos of its robots.
But as the robots become more advanced, videos of them being pushed, kicked, and teased will only fuel a science-fiction style robot uprising.