Date
25 May 2018
Boston Dynamics' SpotMini is shown off by the firm's founder and CEO Marc Raibert at an event in Tokyo in July 2017. The dog-like robot is expected to be commercially available in 2019. Photo: Bloomberg
Boston Dynamics' SpotMini is shown off by the firm's founder and CEO Marc Raibert at an event in Tokyo in July 2017. The dog-like robot is expected to be commercially available in 2019. Photo: Bloomberg

Boston Dynamics to start selling its dog-like robot next year

Boston Dynamics, a US-based tech firm, plans to start selling its SpotMini robot next year, with the offering currently in the pre-production stage.

The company’s founder, Marc Raibert, announced at a TechCrunch event last Friday in California that the dog-like robot, which will be able to perform office and household tasks, will be commercially available in 2019.

According to information posted on the firm’s website, SpotMini is the “quietest robot [they] have built”.

The robot weighs around 66 pounds and it is able to operate for about 90 minutes for one-time charging.

“The SpotMini robot is one that was motivated by thinking about what could go in an office — in a space more accessible for business applications — and then, the home eventually,” Raibert said at the TechCrunch event.

Boston Dynamics said the company has plans with contract manufacturers to produce the first 100 SpotMinis later this year for “commercial purposes”.

Scale-production will begin subsequently, for rollout in the market in 2019, TechCrunch reports.

The price of the robot, which can climb up and down stairs, among other capabilities, is yet to be confirmed.

According to the company, the latest prototype of SpotMini “cost 10 times less to build than the iteration before it”.

Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 after being spun out of MIT. After being under Google parent Alphabet for a while, the firm was acquired by Japan’s SoftBank last year.

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