Robotics Going to the (Boston Dynamics) Dogs, Parkour Robots
In a matter of a few months, the long-awaited Boston Dynamics’ robo-dog has sprung out of the lab and into action as police departments begin using it as a means of subduing suspects. Inverse.com describes how Boston Dynamics has advanced in leaps and bounds ahead of most robotic firms in by developing its agile robotic workers.
A running, jumping Parkour robot is only one version of BD’s vision of the future. The robo-dog is part of that vision and it is here and now according to Mike Brown’s inverse.com article:
Boston Dynamics’ unnerving robotic dog, Spot, is finally out of the lab and into the hands of companies, Michael Perry, an executive from the company, tells Inverse tech writer Sarah Wells. “Tens of units” are in the hands of industries like construction and oil and gas, as well as one bomb squad unit in Massachusetts that finished its three-month trial with the “dogs” earlier this month.
The use of these robots in law enforcement has disturbed some, but Perry says the agreement between the company and lessee is that Spot cannot be used to cause harm or intimidate, and that the primary goal of deploying Spot in these environments is to scout out potentially antagonistic environments ahead of human staff. But it’s of great concern to human rights defenders. Just last year, Dallas Police used a robot to kill a suspected murderer.
Perry says Boston Dynamics aims to make 1,000 Spot units, but that this relatively small-scale production still allows them to work closely with industry partners and monitor how its robots are deployed.
The company explained to theverge.com that the Spot bot will be available to companies with a promising pitch for the hardware platform. The company’s surprisingly athletic machines may become more commonplace soon. Boston Dynamics is testing another worker robot called the “Handle” for reasons a video makes obvious.