They dance. They explore mines. They help medical workers. Boston Dynamics' Spot robot dogs are constantly learning new tricks, and they now have a whole range of fresh moves thanks to a robotic arm and a new programming interface.
Boston Dynamics released a video on Monday showing what Spot can do with its robotic arm system. The arm mounts at the front of the robot and is capable of some fine motor skill operations such as digging a hole for a plant and making chalk drawings.
"Now that Spot has an arm in addition to legs and cameras, it can do mobile manipulation," said Boston Dynamics. "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."
Each new Spot video adds to the robot's impressive resume of abilities. Perhaps the most eye-opening piece of footage is three Spots playing jump rope with the robots on either end turning the rope perfectly in sync with each other.
The basic Spot robot is available with optional add-ons, including a tablet controller and a lidar system. The Spot Arm video is a preview of what could be coming with Boston Dynamics' launch of an expanded Spot product line on Feb. 2. You can watch the reveal event livestream starting at 8 a.m. PT on Tuesday.
The company promises it will "extend Spot's value for autonomous inspection and data collection."
Don't be surprised to see more Spots in the wild. After years of development and testing, Spot finally went on sale in mid-2020 for $74,500. Yes, that's a lot, but did you know it can jump rope?