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Boston Dynamics is teaching its robot dog new tricks

Boston Dynamics is teaching its robot dog Spot new tricks.

On Tuesday the company announced three new products for Spot — Spot Arm, Spot Enterprise and Scout — that aim to increase the robot’s functionality in hazardous, remote work sites.

The rather charming bot has become famous in Boston Dynamics’ videos of it dancing, going on walks and runs, and even encouraging social distancing.

With the new arm extension, three Spots can get together for a bit of jump rope, according to the company. Spot Arm also gives Spot more functional qualities — specifically grabbing and carrying objects, and even opening doors.

Spot Enterprise is a new self-charging version of the robot, which can perform longer inspections and then return to its dock to charge itself. The company said it upgraded hardware for Spot Enterprise, so that it can work alone for longer, have extended WiFi and download large data sets more quickly.

Scout is the new web-based software for Spot, and it’s designed for hazardous tasks in workplaces such as nuclear plants and offshore oil fields without putting human workers at risk. Workers can control Spot remotely and view the workplace via robot camera. They can tap on the surroundings to tell Spot where to sit down. And on the off chance that Spot falls over, they can press a button to bring it upright again.

Boston Dynamics has been developing and promoting Spot for years but only just brought the robot to market this past June. The robotic dogs are available to US businesses for $74,500 a piece, and the company estimates there are now more than 400 Spot models in the world.

“Since first launching Spot, we have worked closely with our customers to identify how the robot could best support their mission critical applications,” said Robert Playter, Boston Dynamics CEO, in a press release. “Our customers want reliable data collection in remote, hazardous, and dynamic worksites. We developed the new Spot products with these needs in mind.”

The pricing for Spot Enterprise, Scout and Spot Arm haven’t been publicly announced and the Boston Dynamics sales team did not immediately respond to comment.

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business

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