But can it lick its balls?
Robotics company Boston Dynamics is suing a rival that has been testing four-legged robot tech at a US Air Force Base, claiming that two of Ghost Robotics' quad-legged unmanned ground vehicles infringe on seven of Boston's patents. The complaint [PDF] includes photos snapped at 2020 and 2021 tests conducted by the US Air Force …
While that would get them out from under the willful part of the infringement, once a patent is granted, just having arrived at the same result isn't a defense for infringement. They would have needed to have achieved the results BEFORE the date of the work in the patent application to claim prior art. It appears that when Boston was publishing you tube videos of it's work, these people were still in high school.
That's the breaks for trying to sell militarized knock-offs. But it also shows Boston Dynamics had as having shifted to a litigation based business model, as their hardware sales are hardly going to recoup their investors money on their own.
BD already released Spot's control software as open source in early 2021. [Github boston-dynamics / spot-sdk ]. Which I thought was very open minded.
By late 2021 Xiaomi's CyberDog was already available in the US, for a much lower price than spot.
Maybe the difference with Ghost is it is aiming at the type of rich US customers to which BD assumed it had exclusive access?
This post has been deleted by its author
If you take a look at US patent 11073842 it's hard to see any innovation. It doesn't describe how the robot generates a map of the stairs and climbs up or down it so much as it tries to write general enough language that any means of a legged robot (with a front-mounted camera) detecting and climbing stairs would be covered. Obviously Boston Dynamics have done this, but the means isn't in the patent. Using this patent offensively is being a patent troll.