Spot is a compact, nimble four-legged robot that can trot around your office, home, or outdoors. It can map its environment, sense and avoid obstacles, climb stairs, and open doors. It can also fetch you a drink.
Did you know?
Spot goes down stairs by walking backwards.
Boston Dynamics, headquartered in Waltham, Mass., has amassed a minizoo of robotic beasts over the years, with names like BigDog, SandFlea, and WildCat. And while its agile humanoid Atlas attracts the most attention (and YouTube views), the company has focused its commercial efforts on another robot: Spot. A versatile quadruped, Spot can navigate almost any kind of terrain while sensing its environment. The current version is fully electric, but an early model was electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. In 2019, Boston Dynamics made Spot available for lease, and announced plans to manufacture a thousand units per year. The company's goal is to offer Spot, or even packs of them, to inspect industrial sites, carry out hazardous missions, and make deliveries. In 2020, the robot went on sale with a price tag of $74,500. Boston Dynamics, once owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet, and later acquired by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, now belongs to South Korean automaker Hyundai.