Boston Dynamics has built a headless robot dog and has been commanding it to deliver packages around Boston. Although the robot company has been building impressive, and often terrifying robots with legs for years, this is the first time that it had found commercial applications for its agile machinery. During the TED 2017 conference this week, Boston Dynamics founder and CEO Marc Raibert revealed that his company has been testing ways it can put robots to do more marketable work.
During its early years, Boston Dynamics' robots were largely funded by military contracts. It was in 2013 when Google bought the company, also changing some of its vision on what kind of applications its robots may be able to do. CEO Raibert showed videos of their latest robots during the recent TED conference.
One of its more interesting machines is named Spot, which is a four-legged dog-like robot. According to the Inverse, the video shows Spot delivering a package strapped to its back to someone’s front door. Raibert shared how they have been testing the robot to get to employees' homes using various access, and that the robot gets it 70 percent of the time.
Another dog-inspired robot is SpotMini, which is an appropriately named smaller variation of the original Spot. SpotMini made an appearance on the TED stage and showed the audience its set of tricks. According to the Recode, the machine can run around, dance, and even deliver Raibert a can of soda.
Back in December, robot dog, SpotMini was also recorded on video as it loaded a dishwasher. Its headless figure makes it look arguably creepy, but the way it moves resembles very much that of an obedient and friendly dog. Finally, Raibert showed videos of Atlas, a bipedal access robot which is working on a factory floor moving boxes to a conveyor belt, with working average speed that is two-thirds of a human worker.