Google purchased Boston Dynamics last year, which means it now owns the company’s ongoing robotics projects, including BigDog. Today, the Google subsidiary posted videos of a smaller dog-like robot, aptly named Spot, which weighs around 160 lbs, has an electric powerhouse and can operate both indoors and outside. The robot, as you can see from the clip, can walk, trot and climb across all types of terrain, and can even survive attempts to destabilize it by unfeeling humans eager with their kicks.
The robot isn’t quite the pack animal that BigDog is, since its larger predecessor weighs 240 lbs and can carry 340 lbs, but it looks like it might be able to travel with more agility, if not more speed, and it’s more able to operate in environs where there isn’t much room to navigate. You could easily see Spot bravely rushing into blown out buildings, for instance, or navigating crowded city streets while recovering from attempts by passers-by to upend it.
Spot manages to look surprisingly organic at times in the video above, which is testament to the fact that even under its new master Boston Dynamics continues to advance the pace of robotics developments, likely to the extreme satisfaction of Department of Defense stakeholders. It’s not quite Metal Gear yet, but it’s getting there, and to quote Solid Snake, “a strong man doesn’t need to read the future, he makes his own.”