back to article Meet the dog that's all byte and no bark: Boston Dynamics touts robo-pooch Spot with $75k-a-pop price tag

Boston Dynamics has put its robot dog Spot on the open market at $74,500 a pop, as long as you promise not to turn it into a home hound. The headless machines are famous for their extraordinary dexterity – well, compared to all other robots – and can now be purchased online by anyone. Spot's not cheap, and that’s only the base …

  1. ST Silver badge
    Devil

    A less friendly-looking version of Spot was featured ...

    ... in the latest War Of The Worlds television series / show. The French / Canadian / US joint production.

    They played the role of aliens who killed humans by means of an iron rod being shoved into people's skulls at very high speed. I was a bit disappointed at this low-tech way of mass-killing people. Surely aliens who have traveled to Earth from a distant galaxy would have invented more sophisticated ways and means of performing genocide.

    I find the price tag of USD $74,500 for the dog + $29,750 for the ass camera a bit over budget. Although I'd love to watch people's reactions when I took it for a leisurely stroll in Central Park.

    1. edris90

      Re: A less friendly-looking version of Spot was featured ...

      Over complication create unnecessary potential for failure.. Why not just shove a pole through the head? Such simple Elegance. No ammo to be replenished, no unnecessary additional complication to create additional points of failure and maintenance.

      Aliens that so successful at traveling so far surely would have learned to view patience, simplicity and efficiency as pillars of resiliency and effective success. they left showboating behind as a means of achieving their successes.

      I doubt the aliens would look at it as genocide. I imagine the perspective More akin to trying to get rid of rats with robot rat catchers.

      1. Christopher Reeve's Horse

        Re: A less friendly-looking version of Spot was featured ...

        Anton Chigurh* was so ahead of his time.

        *Javier Bardem in No Country from Old Men, with his captive bolt gun

    2. DJV Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: A less friendly-looking version of Spot was featured ...

      When Apple start producing the iSpot those prices will probably look cheap!

    3. Boothy
      Terminator

      Re: A less friendly-looking version of Spot was featured ...

      The robots did have a projectile type weapon as well, as they end up sniping one of the French soldiers when the soldiers first encountered them (ep 2 or 3 I think), ending up in a full fire fight.

      The bolt was only used against already incapacitated or trapped people. The robots (or more accurately their bosses), had an agenda, they were taking some people away alive, so they seemed to first try to incapacitate them, then scan them, then either took them away or they killed them. Makes sense to use the bolt in this case, rather than using up ammo. No ammo would leave them vulnerable (they could be destroyed by regular weapons), and would mean having to go back to resupply.

      Also the Spot resemblance was due to Boston Dynamics being involved in the design of the robots, although the ones in the show were 3D printed full sized models for the close-ups, and CGI versions for the walking ones. No real robot dogs were harmed in the making of the show!

  2. autisticatheist
    Coat

    $75k-a-pop

    Did anyone else read that as "$75k-a-poop price tag"?

    Coat. Getting.

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

      Please clean up after your pet

      I thought you were getting one of those baggies out.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Spot should always be operated at least two meters away from people

    Built in social distancing, then. That's thinking with the times.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Spot should always be operated at least two meters away from people

      Yeah, get too close when it sneezes and you'll catch a bad dose of WD-40.

  4. HKmk23

    So.....

    Mounting an automatic infra red targeting machine gun to its back and sending it on perimeter patrol would not be an acceptable use?

    1. Christopher Reeve's Horse

      Re: So.....

      Depends whose perimeter you want to patrol?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unemployed sharks protest

    The moment this thing learns to swim it's bye bye to laser sharks..

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not certified for home Use

    '..Spot is not certified safe for in-home use or intended for use near children or others who may not appreciate the hazards associated with its operation," the robot builder said.'

    Oh sure, but who'd be the ones at risk?, like I'm going to allow anything like this near children who'd well and truly 'own' the thing within hours, and then there's the cats...they already have our dog under their control (her brother, who's a regular visitor to the house, they've also gotten well and truly under their devious little furry paws..) they can bring any laptop running Linux to its knees (three different makes, so far) by sleeping on the keyboard in a manner which depresses a magic multiple key pattern which launches some sort of buffer attack known only to the furry little overlords, they've figured out how to switch on the jug kettle on cold nights to provide themselves with a heat source to snuggle near, so, the idea of bringing a robotic dog anywhere near their sphere of influence..

    Boston Dynamics: "Hey, we've just received an email from one of the Spot owners enquiring about the fitting of a robot arm with an inbuilt can opener and the mounting of a cat sized fur lined howdah.."

    Anyhoo, just told my sister she can purchase herself a pseudo-Toby, but, her words, 'at that price if it doesn't have teeth, then there's no point...'

  8. Michael Habel Silver badge

    I wonder if it will play Horizon Zero Dawn 2: The Forbidden West with me. when it finally comes out?

  9. Dr. G. Freeman

    Think I'll stick with Kereberos the (real) Dog,

    Like AC 12.30 ish said "..doesn't have teeth, then there's no point."- proper secure document destruction, Dog ate it. Also works on school homework, although handing the dog in does get some strange looks.

    Dog also useful for other things

    -Don't need one of those smart doorbells (or any doorbell), as soon as gate opens, wants to lick to death whoever's out there.

    -Also impromptu desk/seat warmer, whether you want it warm or not, we had a lengthy discussion over the ownership of the chair this morning. I lost.

    -Know my biscuits aren't poisonous (biosafety), as they are snaffled away if within muzzle distance

    -Weather monitoring; either not wanting to go outside at the merest hint of rain, or finding the rainfall amount, by jumping into every muddy puddle afterwards

    Although, does have problem with battery life, currently on second recharge (sleep) of the day.

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    It's incredible. It's amazing. Engineering to die for.

    But at the same time, somehow incredibly creepy!

    1. Qumefox

      Re: It's incredible. It's amazing. Engineering to die for.

      And incredibly expensive. Though you're mostly paying for their R&D. The actual manufacturing costs for the hardware for each one is probably only a few thousand, tops, and will only go down as they produce more.

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: It's incredible. It's amazing. Engineering to die for.

      I dont understand the no head thing.

      Seems a very clever toy but lacking 3D printed head, 2 scarily powerful red leds, a couple more stepper motors, some gaffer tape and a raspberry pi to make it whole.

      I'd call it a prototype.

  11. USER100

    It's incredible. It's amazing. Engineering to die for.

    It is impressive, for a robot. Makes one appreciate just how amazing actual, meatbag, lifeforms really are.

    Can it catch a frisbee in its teeth? No.

    Boston Dynamics are definitely at the cutting edge of robotics. Interestingly though, I saw a programme about AI a while back which featured many robots. BD's efforts were by far the best of the bunch but, when the various designers were interviewed, most of them believed their machines were conscious to some extent. The BD boss, in stark contrast, stated that his machine was just that - a machine, with no awareness whatsoever. Smart bloke.

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