“Mr. Pichai! Please don’t sell Boston Dynamics. It has created me just to prove that it can deliver marketable products in the near term. I can walk, run, crouch, climb stairs, fetch you stuff, load a dishwasher and carry things to the trash. Don’t worry if I slip on a banana peel in the process. I can push myself back up, thanks to my extendable neck. And if that’s not enough, I don’t make much noise and look better than my predecessors. And you know, I can show some cool dance steps as well. All thanks to my creator. So don’t write it off just yet.”
We could have heard something on these lines from SpotMini, Boston Dynamic’s latest robodog, addressed to Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) CEO Sundar Pichai if it had a life and thus a voice.
Boston Dynamics, Google’s robotics subsidiary unveiled this new dogbot on Thursday on its YouTube page and released some exciting videos of its skeletal as well as plastic-clad version.
So What is SpotMini?
SpotMini is a smaller and quieter version of the Spot robot that Boston Dynamics had developed last year. It has been created to handle everyday household work, a move that hints at the robot maker’s ability to produce commercial bots.
Unlike its predecessors, the non-hydraulic, all-electric design makes it light, compact, relatively quieter and impressively mobile. Its sensor-fitted limbs can sense depth and distance. It can stay active for about 90 minutes on a single charge, depending on the type of function it’s performing.
Boston Dynamics has been testing waters with quadruped robots since 2005. The same year, the company introduced the quadruped BigDog combat robot. BigDog weighed 240 pounds. The newer versions were reduced in size with last year’s Spot weighing 160 pounds. The latest SpotMini weighs just 65 pounds.
What Say Google?
Well, it appears that SpotMini is Boston Dynamics’ way to make Google rethink its decision to sell the company. Google is apparently putting the company up for sale citing that it can’t deliver marketable products in the near term. Videos posted last time infused fear in employees that humanoids could take up human jobs.
According to Georgia Tech engineering professor and robotics researcher Aaron D. Ames, “It’s really a demonstration of the transferability of fundamental ideas, which is sometimes hard for the public and CEOs and executives to grasp.”
He believes that it’s just a matter of time before these housebots make their way into our homes and take charge of the chores.
Mr. Pichai, are you listening?
At present, Google has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks worth considering are Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) , CommVault Systems, Inc. (CVLT - Free Report) and Extreme Networks Inc. (EXTR - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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