It was in the year 1873 that Benjamin Franklin saw the first ever manned flight using a hot air balloon. This was achieved by the Montgolfier brothers.
He was questioned about the practical utility of such a thing. Franklin responded by asking the practical utility of a new born baby.
The story of Spot, the dog-like robot created by Boston Dynamics lies on the same lines.
Spot was earlier known as Spot Mini. The production version of the robot will soon be up for sale. But it is available for sale only to select partners. They either have a compelling utility for a robot. Or they have a development team which Boston Dynamics believe can do something interesting with the robot.
The numbers of early adopters will be limited, because potential purchasers must all be possessed with the aforementioned qualifications. Similarly, the price tag of the robot will be high as well. One can afford a top line car for this price.
Spot can do stuff like climb or descend stairs or uneven surfaces. It is hence useful for applications such as inspection of oil and gas sites. Boston Dynamics have committed that they would not be selling Spot for military applications. The enterprise is addressing safety concerns.
A few of the consumers are looking at availing Spot for applications such as getting them a cola from the fridge. But Boston Dynamics have presently limited Spot to legitimate applications only
Spot is unique in certain ways. The robot has been created to be a worksite assistant, and features a 14 kg payload capacity.
The robot finds applications in hazardous environments. This may further go on to include applications such as remote data-collection, confined space entry using sensors, bomb disposal and search and rescue operations.
Spot may be defined as a solution on a lookout for a problem. The way Boston Dynamics are going about with the processes is commendable. They are presently partnering with customers in order to develop solutions to their problems.
Keeping the platform flexible is a remarkable feat, and so is the development of control systems that take away the complexity associated with kinematics. The controls of the robot are intuitive, much similar to a gaming console.
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