Spotmini: Robot’s Best Friend is not to be confused with your average pooch! Boston Dynamics’ tech demos will always be thrilling, but still far from practical. And if you thought Boston Dynamics’ ‘Big Dog’ was a bit too terrifying for you, you should give ‘SpotMini’ a go. SpotMini is a new smaller version of the Spot robot, and weighs just 55 lbs dripping wet (65 lbs if you include its arm.) It’s all-electric and runs for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. It’s also the quietest robot Boston Dynamics has ever produced, which is great for apartment dwellers. It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance.
And unlike your dog, it doesn’t need food, water or walks through the park. Charge it occasionally, perform routine maintenance and you’re good to go. It’s also quite a bit more helpful than four-legged fur monsters. Instead of eating your shoes and crapping on your furniture, the SpotMini can be equipped with a robotic neck which allows it to help out around the house.
Such as doing the dishes, for example.
The down side is that Boston Dynamics’ robots cost much more than a luxury car — many of them were developed with multi-million dollar government funds. SpotMini would cost if it was produced at a mass scale, but probably it would still be near a car-level expense says as much as a BMW 3 series. Until the price comes way down with the use of better material science, better machine intelligence, and less costly materials – man’s best friend is safe for now!
Boston Dynamics builds advanced robots with remarkable behavior: mobility, agility, dexterity and speed. We use sensor-based controls and computation to unlock the capabilities of complex mechanisms. Our world-class development teams take projects from initial concept to proof-of-principle prototyping to build-test-build engineering, to field testing and low-rate production.
Organizations worldwide, from DARPA, the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps to Sony Corporation turn to Boston Dynamics for advice and for help creating the most advanced robots on Earth.