Spot the creepy robot dog: Boston Dynamics shows off new toy

10 Feb 2015

Man has got a new best friend after Google-owned Boston Dynamics showcased its latest terrifying robot creation, Spot, a robot dog that can navigate almost all tough terrain.

The four-legged 160lb (72.5kg) robot is the fourth iteration of Boston Dynamics’ four-legged machines that started with BigDog just over 10 years ago and has now made some of its biggest advancements since it was purchased by Google back in 2013.

Much of Spot’s components are similar to its older cousins, including its spinning sensor head and hydraulic legs which have been improved upon again to allow it to withstand some of the strongest kicks and easily climb stairs.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Spot is that while it’s designed and named like a dog, Spot’s running is more reminiscent of a prancing horse, at least in its ability to trot.

As for whether Spot is going to be a straight-replacement for BigDog, Cheetah or the LS3, it is more likely going to provide a different role for the inevitable future military use so, for example, the much heavier and stronger BigDog will carry supplies, while Spot could provide reconnaissance for troops up ahead.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic