In context: If you're an aspiring or practicing roboticist, you've undoubtedly heard of Boston Dynamics' somewhat awkward, but nonetheless impressive (not to mention adorable) four-legged dog-bot, "Spot." Spot can open doors, help out with household chores, and navigate complex areas with relative ease, among other things.
Now, Boston Dynamics wants to let more developers experiment with Spot for themselves. The company is opening up the bot's SDK to the world -- interested parties can check out the software on GitHub right now.
Boston Dynamics says this move will let a "broad range" of developers and "non-traditional" roboticists (whatever that means) communicate with Spot and develop custom applications that will enable him to perform a wide variety of new tasks. The possibilities are essentially endless, though there are some limitations.
Yes, you can now freely develop new capabilities for Spot, but unless you're a member of Boston Dynamics early access program, you won't be able to acquire an actual unit for on-site experimentation. However, if you want to apply for that program and potentially purchase or lease a Spot bot for yourself, you can begin that process right here.
In other Boston Dynamics-related news, the company has announced its first-ever user conference, "Actuate." The conference will focus primarily on Spot, and it will bring together end-users, developers, and Spot "sensor providers" for two days of workshops, presentations, and networking events.
"Spot's early adopters have had robots in hand and on-site for a few months now, and we’re seeing an early adopter community come together to build solutions on the platform," said Boston Dynamics VP Michael Perry. "There's no better way to facilitate getting customers the tools they need to create exciting new applications for the robot than connecting the already vibrant and creative community already leveraging Spot."
The final piece of Spot-related news for the day involves Mythbusters star and Tested creator Adam Savage. The well-known engineer has joined Boston Dynamics' Spot early adopter program, and he'll be using that access to kick off his new "Year with Spot" campaign.
This campaign will see Savage work with his colleagues to "develop and deploy" entertainment-focused hardware and software features for Spot. He'll be expanding the bot's skillset, and teaching it all sorts of exciting new tricks -- we'll undoubtedly be covering the the more interesting parts of the campaign over the next year, so stay tuned.
Masthead credit: Equipment World