The Spot robot climbing stairs at a Ford plant. | Credit: Boston Dynamics
It’s been quite a busy day for Boston Dynamics‘ Spot robot. Thanks to Clearpath Robotics, the Robot Operating System (ROS) now supports the famous quadruped robot. And now Boston Dynamics is opening up sales of its Spot robot to new parts of the world.
The RBR50 company announced today the Spot robot is now available in Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. After years of developing legged robots, Boston Dynamics made Spot commercially available in June for $74,500. Companies are limited to buying two Spot robots.
Spot weighs about 32.5 kg (71 lb.), can go 1.6 m/s (3.5 mph), and has a payload capacity of 14 kg (30 lb.). It can climb stairs and traverse terrain that wheeled robots might not be able to reach. An arm accessory is planned for release early next year.
Spot’s modular platform can integrate a number of accessories and add-ons, which are sold separately. For example, you can enable edge computing with Spot CORE for an additional $3,925. While any device connected to Spot’s network can run custom code through Spot’s SDK, running locally on Spot CORE enables high-bandwidth, low-latency connections.
Legged robots have historically been relegated to research labs. The high prices, combined with challenges in agility, control, power consumption and stability, have historically made them less reliable and desirable than wheeled mobile robots.
But Boston Dynamics is hoping to change that and kick-start the commercial quadruped market with its Spot robot. Boston Dynamics reportedly has sold or leased 250 Spot robots. The robots are being used for a variety of applications, including documentation of construction progress, monitoring remote or hazardous environments, and providing situational awareness in remote settings. We’ve also seen the quadrupeds map a Ford plant and help Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital conduct contactless measurement of patient vital signs.
“Boston Dynamics’ expanded sales territory reflects both a growing demand for Spot’s agile, versatile technology and a growing partner network within Europe and North America,” Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics, said in a statement. “This network is a critical component in properly supporting the needs of our customers and varying uses of Spot. As we expand our sales territory, we look forward to working with customers across the globe to help them integrate Spot into their operations to increase efficiency and safety and augment human labor for positive benefit.”
Boston Dynamics prohibits sales of the robot to countries that are subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Export Control restriction by the United States. Spot will continue to be available for lease to customers in other international markets through the Early Adopter Program.
Michael Patrick Perry, VP of Business Development at Boston Dynamics, joined The Robot Report Podcast in June to discuss Spot’s progression and commercial launch. He talked about the most unique Spot applications, and the status of Spot’s robotic manipulator. Perry also provided updates on Boston Dynamics’ Pick vision system and its other robots in development, including Handle. You can listen to the podcast below.
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