Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot Shows Off Its Grabbing Skills
Siri and Alexa are great home virtual assistants. But they’re not exactly in a position to shoot around and pick up your underwear (and who can really blame them?). The Boston Dynamics spot robot isn’t that lucky, however.
A new video released by the robotics company on Monday shows its four-legged spot robot using its superior robotics skills to clean up after its chaotic human overlords.
“Now that Spot has an arm in addition to legs and cameras, it can do mobile manipulations,” says Boston Dynamics. “It finds and picks up objects (rubbish), tidies up the living room, opens doors, operates switches and valves, tends the garden, and generally has fun. The movement of the hand, arm and body is automatically coordinated to simplify manipulation tasks and expand the working range of the arm so that its reach is essentially unlimited. “
The company further notes that the behavior presented was programmed using a “new API for mobile manipulation that supports autonomy and user applications, as well as a tablet that allows users to perform remote operations.”
The company promises more news on Boston Dynamics this week. There will be a livestream on Tuesday, February 2, set to 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET. According to the title, the live stream will show the expanded product line from “Spot”.
Weighing 55 pounds without the additional manipulator arm, Spot was introduced by Boston Dynamics in 2016. Since then, Boston Dynamics has shown it can do all kinds of nifty tasks. Some of these were lab-based demos, although more and more have shown that Spot works in the real world. For example, inspection tasks were carried out for the floating production storage and unloading vessel Skarv in the Norwegian Sea in November 2020.
It’s not exactly a mass product, however. This could explain why Boston Dynamics, which has only recently started offering its robots for sale, has changed hands several times over the years. In the last 10 years alone, the controlling stake shifted from Google (which bought it in 2013) to SoftBank (which bought it in 2017) to Hyundai (which bought it late last year).
However, no one can deny that there is some pretty impressive technology out there. With a retail price of $ 74,500 to buy a spot robot, it’s probably better to buy your own damn socks!