Santa would probably want a pack of SpotMini quadrupedal robots for himself for Christmas. That is if he ever decides to change careers and drive a truck that can break down any time in the middle of nowhere. That’s when he’d wish he’d gotten robot dogs instead of fleshy reindeer because, as Boston Dynamics’ latest video shows, these can haul an entire truck. Then again, the reindeers could have made the truck fly.
It’s still almost a shot in the dark to classify the robotics company’s four-legged machines as “dogs”. These robots that still give some people nightmares have nothing in common with canines save for being quadrupeds. Some don’t even have recognizable heads let alone tails that wag or droop to show emotion. Then again, that’s probably for the best.
Boston Dynamics’ latest demo is to show just how powerful these robots are when they’re of the same mind, or controller in this case. They have chained together ten of the new SpotMini to pull the aforementioned truck with, what else, Spotpower (SP). We’ll just presume that the truck is out of commission and not because the driver has a sadistic anti-robot bent.
Each robot weighs 30 kg but can support a little half of its own weight (14 kg) of payload. The redesigned Spotmini are given a more industrial and streamlined appearance with a rather modular “head” that can support a robot arm or extra cameras.
The reason for this new video, however, isn’t just for bragging rights. Boston Dynamics is also revealing that the SpotMinis are coming off the production line, which means they will soon be available for purchase for “a range of applications“. How much each one will cost, however, is still undisclosed.