Boston Dynamic’s Spot: A Robot that You can’t Kick Over Hardware | Tech News 14 FEB 2015

Boston Dynamics (whom I’ve highlighted before) is an engineering and robotics design company that is best known for the development of BigDog, a quadruped robot designed for the U.S. military with funding from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and DI-Guy, software for realistic human simulation.

Early in the company’s history, it worked with the American Systems Corporation under a contract from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) to replace naval training videos for aircraft launch operations with interactive 3D computer simulations featuring DI-Guy characters.

National Academy of Engineering member Marc Raibert is the company’s president and project manager. He spun the company off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992, in order to continue their work in developing robots that run and maneuver like animals.

On 13 December 2013, the company was acquired by Google.

google boston dynamics spot running robot

Well now Google and Boston Dynamics have a new metal friend in the mix.

On the 9th of February they unveiled Spot, a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered (in other words can operate in both inside and outside conditions), hydraulically actuated, and has a sensor head (Lidar by the look of it) that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. It also weighs about 72 kg, more than 30 kg lighter than BigDog. (In other words, it is smaller, more agile and faster than its big brother).

The robot, can walk, trot and climb across all types of terrain, and can even survive attempts to destabilize it by unfeeling humans eager with their kicks. (Which is a bad thing because we probably shouldn’t be antagonizing these things!)

Right. So here’s Spot’s unveiling video:

SkyNet will be well pleased with this latest addition…

Related Link: http://www.bostondynamics.com/

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About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don’t have time for myself any more.