Boston Dynamics is launching commercial sales for the four-legged machine in the US after deploying over 150 units to select enterprises through an early adopters program.
You can now buy Boston Dynamics’ robot dog, but it’ll cost as much as a sports car.
On Tuesday, the company began commercial sales for “Spot,” a four-legged robot that will set you back $74,500.
The company appears to be confident Spot can make a splash in the business and industrial sectors. Last September, Boston Dynamics began leasing Spot to select enterprises on a trial basis. “Under that program, over 150 Spot robots were successfully used by domestic and international businesses and research facilities,” the company said in a news release.
So what can you actually do with a robot dog? Over the years, Boston Dynamics has demonstrated time and time again Spot is capable of walking around like a real dog. It can trot along through a warehouse without crashing into objects, climb up and down a flight of stairs, and even open doors when equipped with a robot hand.
The company now envisions Spot acting as a helper robot, which can record and stream footage and also carry packages. Boston Dynamics points out that one construction firm saved 20 hours of work per week by using the robot dog to capture images of a 500,000-square-foot building project.
Other use cases involve sending Spot to scout and monitor hazardous environments, such as decommissioned nuclear sites, factory floors, and even crime scenes. In 2019, Boston Dynamics leased the bot to police in Massachusetts to act as a scout, which stirred up some controversy over whether robot dogs will one day be used in law enforcement.
Another use may involve entertaining the public. “Spot was also used to explore projects for creative industries, such as dancing on stage and performing in theme parks,” Boston Dynamics added.
The model up for sale on the Boston Dynamics website is a special “explorer” edition, which is designed for developers who want to tinker with it. The Wi-Fi-capable robot will come ready to operate right out of the box, and can run for about 90 minutes on a single charge. Customers will also receive a gamepad-like “tablet controller,” which can order Spot to perform certain tasks. If you want even more customization, Spot can also be programmed through the machine’s API.
However, the company isn’t recommending consumers buy the product. “Spot is not certified safe for in-home use or intended for use near children,” the company’s FAQ page says. Boston Dynamics will also void the machine’s warranty and even “disable some or all of its functionality” if the customer is found using the robot dog for a malicious purpose.
If you do buy the Spot explorer edition, expect to wait six to eight weeks for your shipment. Interested customers will also initially be charged a $1,000 refundable deposit. Currently, the online sales are only available in the US.