See Boston Dynamics' Spot robot dog play jump rope and pick up laundry

Spot can gather up the dirty clothes you left on the floor, you animal.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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Spot picks up trash in a demonstration of its new arm capabilities.

Boston Dynamics video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

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?

See also: Best robot vacuums for 2021: iRobot Roomba, Eufy, Electrolux, Neato and more

Check out what it looks like to walk Spot from 3,000 miles away:

Boston Dynamics Spot
Watch this: I test-drove a Boston Dynamics Spot robot from 3,000 miles away