You are looking at the nearest future of four-legged robots! Boston Dynamics’ newest introduction – commercial robot Spot. It weighs 25 kg (30 kg if you include the arm). It is all-electric and can go for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. Spot inherits all of the mobility of its bigger brother, Spot Classic, while adding the ability to pick up and handle objects using its long arm (not head, as many think) and perception sensors: stereo cameras, depth cameras, an IMU, and position/force sensors in the limbs to help it navigate and stay mobile.

The Spot is almost ready to go on sale, while still being tested in different kind of environments and tasks, including package delivery and surveying work. The truth is, the robot requires human handlers. The Spot is capable of navigating environments autonomously, but only when its surroundings have been mapped in advance. The Spot can withstand kicks and shoves and keep its balance on tricky terrain, but it doesn’t decide where to walk.

The control of it thankfully is very simple and intuitive, and even a child could do it. Using a D-pad, you can steer the robot as you would any RC car or mechanical toy. A quick tap on the video feed streamed live from the robot’s front-facing camera lets you select a destination for it to walk to, and another tap lets you assume control of a robot arm mounted on top of the chassis.

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