Boston Dynamics’ Spot Toughens Up, Hauls a Truck

Source: Deep Learning on Medium

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The last time we saw Boston Dynamics’ robodog Spot it was dancing adorably to “Uptown Funk” by the cast of popular American TV musical “Glee.” In a YouTube video released today, Spot looks a lot more like a workhorse, harnessed up and hauling a box truck up a hill.

Obviously, industrial and military applications are more likely commercial paths than dancing dogbots, and Boston Dynamics’ new emphasis on Spot’s power reflects that. “These Spot robots are coming off the production line now and will be available for a range of applications soon.”

It was just six months ago that the “Uptown Spot” video charmed the Internet. Boston Dynamics also showed off Spot’s agility in a video that followed it around Tokyo construction sites. Augmented with an additional head-mounted camera, the bot navigated autonomously, deftly examining worksites it shared with humans.

Boston Dynamics is eager to have its robots make the leap from production to commercialization. In March the company showcased its updated industrial gripping and loading robot “Handle”, and on April 2 announced the acquisition of California startup Kinema Systems, which develops vision sensors and deep learning software for industrial robot arms.

Whether they’re doing parkour, dancing or hauling, Netizens can’t seem to get enough of Boston Dynamics bots. In just three hours, “Mush Spot Mush!” had garnered more than 150,000 views on YouTube.

Journalist: Fangyu Cai | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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