Boston Dynamics shows off Spot the robot's cleaning, gardening, and jump rope skills


Posts: 6,898   +62
Staff member
What just happened? Boston Dynamics has been evolving its robots into more advanced machines for years. It's usually the human-like Atlas that gets all the attention, but the quadruped Spot is now having its turn in the spotlight. The company's new video shows the mechanical dog doing everything from skipping to tidying up—the latter task being achieved through Spot's robotic arm.

Boston Dynamics released its latest video, called "Spot's got an arm," yesterday. "Now that Spot has an arm in addition to legs and cameras, it can do mobile manipulation," the company writes. "It finds and picks up objects (trash), tidies up the living room, opens doors, operates switches and valves, tends the garden, and generally has fun. Motion of the hand, arm and body are automatically coordinated to simplify manipulation tasks and expand the arm's workspace, making its reach essentially unbounded."

The video also reveals Spot's impressive jump rope skills. Helped by two other units spinning the rope in perfect synchronization, the robot leaps each twirl without missing a beat.

Boston Dynamics, now owned by automaker Hyundai, writes that Spot's behavior in the video was programmed using a new API for mobile manipulation that supports autonomy and user applications. There's also a new tablet so users can perform remote operations.

An extended Spot product line is being launched later today. You can watch a livestream of the event below, starting at 8am PT/11am ET

Spot units went on sale last year for the rather eye-watering price of $74,500, and that's without the extended warranty and extra battery. It was one of the robots that performed an end-of-year dance in Boston Dynamics' video.

Permalink to story.



Posts: 16   +18
Skynet needs to start somewhere.....

Joking aside, the company has achieved quite a bit in it's fairly short existence.

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,042   +6,807
Way above "toy" grade ... the military is seriously looking at it for a number of critical missions that remove danger from the human element. While the cost is currently high, that will improve as it goes more into demand. Make one with boobs that can cook and you can sign me up!


Posts: 183   +123
"shows off Spot the robot's cleaning, gardening, and jump rope skills"
I don't think it's going to take over from the wife just yet. Still, it might be a lot cheaper with the robot.