Companies Can Now Purchase Spot for 74,500$
Boston Dynamics, a startup based in Massachusetts, specialises in automated robotics. Their most famous and latest robot is the "Robot Dog" Spot. Using machine learning, the dog can traverse uneven terrain and even climb stairs completely automatically. The dog can be given work to carry out, such as transporting goods, using tools or surveying the landscape, making it a potential future purchase for many different companies that want something done by manual labour but also don't want to bring a new worker onto the team.
The dog weighs 30kg and is not much different from a delivery machine. It cannot carry a very large payload, the dog maxes out at a 14kg payload and can only operate up to 90 minutes on one charge. However, its main usage is for being able to go to places where it is hard for humans to be transported to, for example, oil rigs.
At a price tag of $74,500, Spot is by no means cheap, and it is unlikely that it will be a profitable purchase for any company or project as of now, however, we can only hope that with time, the price of Spot, or any such robot produced in the future, falls until it is economically viable for companies to start purchasing this for different types of work.
Boston Dynamics previously was not selling the robot dog to any company, citing possible malicious usage as the reason. Now that the firm has u-turned on their previous decision, they admit that there is nothing they can do beyond ending a user's license and no way to know if a robot made by them is used with malicious intent in the future. However, it is also important Spot isn't an evil robot with the power to overpower humans, as stated before, it only has the capability to carry up to 14kg of weight and additionally, it can be knocked over and immobilised very easily by a human.
So far Spot has been sold about 150 times, the companies initial target was 1000 units, however, the shortfall in the number of units sold was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the company.