Friday, June 07, 2019
Boston Dynamics, the research company that builds pedal robots, is releasing its first product, called Spot. Spot is a yellow and black quadruped canine whose head is a television camera and teeth a robot arm. The only challenge for Spot is whether the marketplace needs a robot that can walk like a dog and is hard to push over. The market is unproven and there is no guarantee it is large. The company has been a master of PR in the years its machines were under development. It released regularly videos of humanoids and four-legged creatures that walked difficult terrain and resisted the jabs of engineers trying to knock them down. The videos went viral and the company was much discussed. It didn't bring a product to market, however. It kept developing and engineering for year after year. Now it says it is ready. The question is whether the world is ready for it. We should know soon.