Boston Dynamics has announced that any company wanting to add Spot four-legged robot to their fleet of workers can now purchase it. Of course, it will not be cheap, at $74,500 a unit, and the delivery time is 6-8 weeks. Together with the robot, you can purchase additional sensors and computing units.
Spot is intended for commercial and industrial use, and at the moment, the purchase is available only for companies in the United States. Boston Dynamics will continue to rent robots to customers in international markets, and all orders will be subject to the company’s Terms and Conditions of Sale, which include, among other requirements, “the beneficial use of its robots.”
Spot is the first Boston Dynamics commercial robot, the current version of which was introduced in 2017 (then it was called SpotMini). It has four legs, driven by electric motors, and many visual sensors on all four sides. The robot dog is agile enough to climb stairs and cross rough terrain with ease. Small enough to circulate indoors, Spot can carry up to four hardware modules on its back, which means that companies can exchange the skills it can perform so that it does a specific job. For this, the company released a software development kit (SDK) with the necessary tools for customization at the beginning of the year.
With a 360° view, Spot is programmed to avoid obstacles and can be driven remotely. Developers can create custom control methods and schedule autonomous missions and integrate information from sensors with data analysis tools.
According to company executives, the pandemic has disrupted its supply chain, but they say they have designed the manufacturing process to scale up if demand grows. The $74,500 fee is a definitive purchase (not a license to use), and academic and research institutions can get a discount. Included in the package are two batteries, a charger, a case, and a one-year warranty. Shipping is free.
In the store, you can also purchase additional computing units, and sensor units, including with LiDAR, as well as extended support.
A similar design, but the smaller robot is also produced by the Chinese company Unitree Robotics, the cost of which should be less than $10K. Also, the four-legged robot for commercial use was developed by ANYbotics, but its price is still unknown.