Boston Dynamics is known for being the company creating robots that are probably going to end up killing us all; but, not content with replacing humanity, it's also building machines that can put dogs out of business, and will sell them next year.
The SpotMini - or, as we think of it, Robot's Best Friend - is a canine-like machine standing 84cm tall and weighing about 30kg: a smaller version of the company's Spot bot. Unlike the original, it can open doors (yes, we're getting Jurassic Park flashbacks, too) using its articulated arm/creepy snake head.
Call us overly cautious, but we don't think that teaching the robots to expect attacks, or - especially - training them to fend off said attacks is good practice. Down that route SkyNet lies, etc.
Sold to Japan's SoftBank by Google parent company Alphabet last year, Boston Dynamics will begin to sell SpotMini in 2019, although the company will only produce 100 units initially. A price has not been announced.
What's the target market? Dog lovers who are scared of dogs? Very lazy people who don't want to go through doors quickly? Or is it that staple that keeps the tech market moving forward - early adopters with too much money?
On a serious note, the robot - which has 17 joints and a wide variety of sensors - can autonomously traverse varied types of terrain, and could easily be used for inspection duties.
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