By Siddharth Singh, 13th February, 2015
Boston Dynamics, a robotics company bought over by Google in 2013, has come out with its newest robot named Spot. Unlike its older robots including BigDog and WildCat, Spot is smaller and seems to be more agile. It even regains balance if kicked, as the video below demonstrates.
Interestingly, unlike its older robots (which were made prior to Google’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics), Spot seems to have a radar similar to the one mounted on Google’s Self Driving Cars.
If this is indeed the case, this opens a whole new range of possibilities: Spot (or future versions of Spot) could help map cities more accurately, which would improve the navigation of Google’s Self Driving Cars. Spot would also itself navigate using spacial data from the cloud, making its movements far more precise than that of the older robots.
Four legged robots have potential applications in military as well as civilian activities. They could help carry supplies for soldiers in difficult terrains, rescue people caught in avalanches or in other life-threatening situations, and help in construction and mining activities.
What is frightening, however, is the potential weaponisation of such robots (which is likely) and the possibility of these robots being hacked.