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Boston Dynamics has declared its launch of the four-legged robot Spot, aiming for B2B deals with companies. In case you don’t know what Spot is, I’ll remind you that it’s a meme robot from videos where people punch a pony-like robot with different objects to test its stabilization and accelerometer sensors. Previously, the company launched sales only for chosen companies, with the idea to integrate the tech miracle into their businesses. But now, if you’re a US company with plenty of money you can purchase Spot for only $74.500.

There’s still no idea how the most advanced robot in the world will recoup its price tag, the same as that of a luxury Tesla Model S. Moreover, Spot’s workload has got a limit right now, only able to survey and collect data, so a potential Spot owner should be patient until some specific software is ready to help their particular business. James Vincent writes, in his original article for The Verge, that some companies have found out the potential of the Spot: “trial deployments have seen Spot create 3D maps of construction sites and hunt for machine faults in offshore oil rigs,”  writes Vincent.

Boston Dynamics ensures customers upgrades to Spot as they operate and analyze their feedback. Nowadays, the company is preparing to launch a remote teleoperation option. A potential Spot customer can check the feature out during a test drive in a robot assault course at the company’s headquarters.

This will prevent customers from reckless decisions because it’s not a toy robot and you should have an understanding of how the robot will help your business. James Vincent comments on the use of the teleoperation; he had an opportunity to test it himself. He notes that his test drive Spot unit was 4,000 miles away from his home, and despite slow reactions to his commands, it was very good. 

How does it work? You can log in to a special web app on Boston Dynamics’ site to adjust the camera view with Spot’s camera and the company’s external cameras, then Spot generates a 3D map of its surroundings be itself, and moves using WASD keys. 

The company commented that they will offer the same test drive scheme with customers this year. Later, teleoperations will be available for any unit and Boston Dynamics will launch a new update with a head-mounted robot arm, which will open new abilities for Spot to manipulate its surroundings, collect data, open and close doors, etc.

It’s important to mention that there will be no cosplay of a Black Mirror plot. After worries about soulless machines with guns throughout the internet, Boston Dynamics has foreseen this and they warn people it’s forbidden to stick a weapon or any malicious device, or use it with an intent to harm people. However, the company can’t control the robot once it is sold.

“If there’s a harmful use, then the license would be invalidated, and the customer wouldn’t be able to use the robot,” says Boston Dynamics’ vice president of business development Michael Perry. “But obviously, there’s not a lot that we can do ahead of time beyond validating that the purchase is valid and that the person buying the robot is not on the Department of Commerce watch list or anything along those lines.”

The company has a sales plan to achieve 1000 Spot robots sold this year, though the company has released around 150 units to customers to date. There’s a restriction for potential customers to buy two robots at a time, but if you want more you supposed to discuss it with Boston Dynamics.

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