CEO of Boston Robotics Marc Raibert has said that the company’s dog-like SpotMini robot will be up for sale in 2019. The robot was introduced by the company last year. Raibert said, “The SpotMini robot is one that was motivated by thinking about what could go in an office, in a space more accessible for business applications, and then, the home eventually.” The company’s website states that the SpotMini is ‘a nimble robot that handles objects, climbs stairs, and will operate in offices, homes and outdoors.’
The company has announced that the first 100 SpotMinis will be built later this year for commercial purpose and will be sold in the year 2019. The robotics company started in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company introduced the first robot in the shape of an animal in the college. The company was owned by Alphabet Corp before SoftBank acquired it last year. SoftBank has already introduced a robot to market which is their humanoid robot called Pepper.
Boston Dynamics claims to combine “the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and software for perception, navigation, and intelligence.” The aim of the company is to build “machines that both break boundaries and work in the real world.” The SpotMini is a smaller version of Spot which was launched in 2015. The new version has a weight of only 66 pounds and the battery life of 90 minutes.
The possible applications of the robot, as explained at the TechCrunch event, as discussed by Rainfield was that someone who is in a wheelchair and wants to go for a hike. The founder also added that the company receives letters regarding the possible future applications of these robots. He said that the company is not working on these applications but there are many possibilities. Raibert said, “Robotics isn’t like some fields were the applications are all worked out and well known. We are simultaneously figuring out what the use cases are while developing the technology.”
Raibert also talked about his vision of making the robotics bigger than the internet. He said, “It is going to take a lot of time to get to bigger than the internet but I do think the impact of robots could be vast.” There is very less media coverage received by these robots. No matter if these robots are a threat to humanity or not, they will soon be hitting the market. However, they will be too expensive to be available at common places.