The agile robots can walk, climb stairs and open doors. But people who buy them must agree not to arm them or intentionally use them as weapons
You can now buy one of those unnerving animal-like robots you might have seen on YouTube – so long as you don’t plan to use it to harm or intimidate anyone.
Boston Dynamics on Tuesday started selling its four-legged Spot robots online for just under $75,000 each.
The agile robots can walk, climb stairs and open doors. But people who buy them online must agree not to arm them or intentionally use them as weapons, among other conditions.
“Spot is an amazing robot, but is not certified safe for in-home use or intended for use near children or others who may not appreciate the hazards associated with its operation,” the terms and conditions state.
Boston Dynamics has been developing its dexterous robots through decades of military-funded research. The Waltham, Massachusetts, company is now finding commercial applications for them for the first time since it was founded in 1992.
The company announced last year that it would begin mass production of Spot. As a pilot project, it leased more than 150 of the robots to select customers for such uses as monitoring construction sites, inspecting energy facilities and performing in theme parks.
In one recent pilot in Singapore, a Spot robot was deployed in a public park to broadcast prerecorded messages asking people to maintain distance from one another to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
Boston Dynamics says its sales are intended for commercial and industrial users and that the robots can only be purchased in the US