His name is Spot, he weighs around 160 lbs and he’s good indoors and out. But this dog didn’t come from the pound or the pet store. Spot is a robot, and he was created by Boston Dynamics, which is now a subsidiary of Google’s.
Boston Dynamics develops robots for the U.S. army and other military organizations, and Spot is their latest creation. There are nine other robots listed on the website, including “Cheetah” which is claimed to be the fastest legged robot ever made, and the “Sand Flea” which can not only drive around as a remote controlled car, but can also leap 30 feet into the air!
Spot’s mission will be to accompany troops on the ground as a pack mule to carry kit. He can travel over tricky terrain, so he’ll be able to explore areas where humans can’t go. Spot is smaller than his predecessor – the aptly named “BigDog” – who weighs in at 240 lbs and can carry 340 lbs, but Spot is more agile, and can run around indoors.
The videos show the electric-powered, hydraulically actuated Spot walking, running and climbing across all sorts of terrain, looking incredibly realistic and natural in the way he moves.
But watch as he is repeatedly kicked by some hard-hearted human! The technology is amazing, and Spot reacts so much like a real dog that it’s actually disturbing to watch. Your automatic reaction is to cringe in horror. Not a sight for small children!
But you have to wonder why Google is so interested in this phenomenon known as Spot. Maybe they’re secretly planning a world take-over?