Mommy, can we get a puppy? After years of development, Boston Dynamics is selling Spot, the creepy robot dog. Any U.S. business can adopt their own Spot for just $74,500. It may sound like a lot of money, but hey, at least he already has his shots.
Spot is, as far as we know, the most advanced land robot in the world. Like a disgusting robotic hellbeast, Spot can run, jump, climb rocky surfaces, and balance itself after being kicked by pedestrians. The average family may not get much use out of a mechanical quadruped, but businesses may want to send Spot into hard-to-reach places, or areas that may be too dangerous for humans. Spot could carry sensors that measure toxic gas, for example, or help to investigate collapsing infrastructure.
But Spot can fulfill menial tasks, too. In an interview with The Verge, Boston Dynamics’ lead robotics engineer, Zack Jackowski, suggested that Spot spend its time “carrying a camera around a factory 40 times a day and taking the same pictures each time.” Although, to be perfectly candid, I’d take that job for a lot less than $74,500.
Boston Dynamics says that Spot will receive regular updates, with new features like teleoperation (i.e., remote control with access to Spot’s camera). The robot will eventually receive a head-mounted robotic arm, which can open doors, shake hands, or bring you your pipe and slippers.
If you’re like me, then the Spot robot is a neat terrifying sign of things to come. What’s stopping someone from using Spot as a weapon or a remote surveillance system? Boston Dynamics ensures that Spot isn’t allowed to use weapons or intimidate people, but as with all dogs, Spot’s behavior really depends on its owners.