Meet Spot — the mechanical dog that can open doors, run up and down stairs, and take a hearty kick to the ribs without missing a beat. Spot is a good boy. And now, Spot can be your good boy for the low, low price of $74,500 (aka 62.08 federal stimulus checks or a year’s worth of paychecks from five minimum-wage jobs).
Spot is a product of Boston Dynamics, a robotics company that has been perfecting their autonomous quadruped for more than five years. A steady stream of videos has shown Spot navigating through crannies and ascending to heights that most wheeled robots cannot, earning the robo-dog stints on New Zealand sheep farms, in Boston hospital wards and even at NASA.
According to a June 16 statement from the company, the new "explorer" version of the dog is "designed to go where other robots can't go and to perform a broad number of tasks." At this time, Spot is primarily being marketed to businesses, which are money-making operations that used to employ humans for wages.
More than 100 businesses have already used Spot robots for tasks such as documenting construction progress with a head-mounted camera, monitoring hazardous environments (such as decommissioned nuclear reactors) and enforcing social-distancing regulations in Singapore, the statement said. If you have the bones, you can buy Spot here.
According to Boston Dynamics, Spot is the first member of the company's mechanical menagerie to be available for sale. The robotics company is also well known for its mechanical juggernaut Atlas, a humanoid robot that can run, jump over obstacles and, according to a 2017 tweet from Elon Musk, probably destroy the entire human race.
Atlas is not for sale at this time.
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Originally published on Live Science.
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Brandon is the space/physics editor at Live Science. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, CBS.com, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website and other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona, with minors in journalism and media arts. He enjoys writing most about space, geoscience and the mysteries of the universe.