Mark your calendars! Boston Dynamics has announced a soft launch date of 2019 for
the inevitable robot uprising sales of their SpotMini robot dog. We’ve seen some of the crazy and impressive stuff that Boston Dynamics robots have done in the past, though we’ve also seen how they’ve pushed their robots around, leading to questions about just how quickly we can expect the robots to take over and subvert humanity (joking).
The announcement came today as part of the TechCrunch TC Sessions: Robotics at UC Berkeley. Boston Dynamics Founder and CEO Marc Raibert talked about how their priorities changed while they were part of Google, and how things have changed now that they’re owned by SoftBank. You can check out the full interview, including some great shots of both the Atlas and SpotMini robots in the video below:
Starting at some point in 2019, the company hopes to sell their SpotMini robot dog to businesses at first, with an eventual goal of adding robots to the home. There’s no word yet on how much a SpotMini of your own would cost, but I’m guessing they’re not going to be cheap. Raibert did say though that the current design cost 10 times less than the previous iteration, with belief that they could bring costs down even more.
SpotMini is, as the name implies, a smaller version of the Spot 4-legged robot, and is described as the quietest robot that the company has built to date. Weighing in at around 65 pounds and standing a few feet tall (with bent legs) the robot is also available with a front mounted articulated claw arm capable of carrying around 30 pounds.
SpotMini can run for about 90 minutes on a single charge, and using a series of cameras and 3D vision it’s able to navigate pretty well. After taking SpotMini on a guided tour of their offices, Boston Dynamics let one loose on its own and watched as it
murdered everybody took a quick trip staring in the lab, moving through some obstacles, and returning back to the lab. It’s honestly really impressive, and you can take a look at the full SpotMini video below: