SpotMini, the latest robot dog from Boston Dynamics


Sure, but robotics in the fashion that they are developing still has a lot of hurdles to clear. Just how self-driving cars has been in development for the last 10-15 years or longer, just because it took so long doesn’t mean that the active research into it is a waste of time and its short sighted for Google to expect them to deliver a consumer product now. Doesn’t make sense that Google was willing to do a long bet on self-driving but not on Boston Dynamics. Either way the company is better off without Google.


Yeah, but I can think of many practical applications for a self-driving car. I can’t think of any reason to use a quadruped robot (instead of, for example, a treaded robot) other than “that looks cool.”



They have multiple platforms they’re developing. Biped, quadruped, wheeled, etc. so you’re making assumptions about the research into robotics that they are doing. I can also think of many applications their platforms can fit but then again i’m not here trying to sell you anything so you can think that their research is useless, i don’t care.


The problem is that the company hasn’t been doing a very good job at convincing Google/DARPA/other investors that the technologies they’ve been developing have clear practical applications.


I thought it was implied that city-17 was in Eastern Europe


DARPA and The Marines were interested in it in a serious way but ultimately passed because it made too much noise because that version used an internal combustion engine because battery technology is lagging behind what the needs for the robot are.

Regardless, clear applications to research does not obviate other technological gains. Their ATLAS platforms are regularly used to test autonomous AI by completely unrelated researchers and students. They might be driving innovation in hardware and software that we’re not seeing, but as i said previously i am not trying to convince you of anything so if you don’t see merit into research that’s no loss to me.


Agreed, but it’s hard to get a for-profit corporation to fund pure research if you can’t come up with practical applications to justify it.


Autonomous AI is the next big thing, or so they say. I see Boston Dynamics as doing essential work toward that, SoftBank seems to agree. Not sure i would bet on it, i’m not a betting man but i have enough confidence in what they’re doing to be excited about it.


Robo Doggo! <3


Agreed, but sometimes you can find customers for whom “that looks cool” is justification enough.


Yes, if DISNEY bought Boston Dynamics I’d say “well that makes total sense.”


Redneck robot dog jousting on ESPN saturday afternoons.

Mark my words.



Here you go (mannequin was not harmed during photo session :slight_smile: ):

Seriously though, that robot is quite heavy(400kg including base) industrial equipment and not keeping a safe distance would be a bad idea. With previous electronics it sometimes lost feedback and made violent and unexpected moves.

Logic gates made purely of joints and levers

Same advice goes for robotic rigs for car manufacturing plants. I have read of the rare instances where some worker has been severely injured or killed by those giant robotic arms.


You beat me to it


Is it allowed to exceed the speed of sound in urban areas?


Nope. Not with that noise. All those repulsively attractive things from Boston Dynamics make that noise.
It will be terrifying when they make them silent.


Check out the new tricks that Atlas does now. It can jump higher than me from a standing position and also do backflips. We’re definitely doomed.