Boston Dynamics, the robotics company purchased by Google in 2013, has published a video showing off its latest creation, Spot, walking, running and being kicking at the company's headquarters.
Best known for its range of robots that walk with an uncanny sense of balance, run at cheetah-like speeds and can jump up to 30 feet, Boston Dynamics unveiled on Tuesday (9 February) its latest quadrupedal robot in the shape of Spot, which looks like a smaller version of BigDog, which was originally built to help soldiers on the battlefield to carry equipment.
Just like BigDog (and its successor AlphaDog or LS3), Spot features four hydraulic legs, a sensor head to help him navigate and the ability to remain upright even when walking on rough terrain, up steps or when kicked by a member of the Boston Dynamics team.
Lighter and faster
Spot weighs in at 160lbs compared to BigDog's 240lbs and in the video you can see that the smaller robot is faster on its feet than its bigger brother - at least when going uphill.
Spot isn't the smallest of all Boston Dynamics creations but it can still be used safely both indoors and outdoors, though it won't be able to carry as much equipment BigDog.
The company says that Spot will be used primarily for search and rescue, mapping, or accessing disaster zones.
Boston Dynamics initially received funding for the development of BigDog from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) but was purchased by Google in 2013 for an undisclosed amount.
Along with robots like Spot and BigDog that can traverse rough terrain, the company has also created RiSE, a robot which can climb vertical surfaces like walls and trees, as well as humanoid robots such as Atlas and Petman.