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Future Tech: 

Walkies for Spot, the Robo Dog from Boston Dynamics

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 12.15.19

Walkies!

How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the 160-lb metal frame that people seem to keep kicking for some reason?

Google owned Boston Dynamics has shown off Spot the Robo Dog in a new video, and it’s a pretty impressive bit of kit. Why are people intent on kicking it whenever it goes past when it cost a pretty penny? To show off its handy self-balancing act: every time it takes a knock, it adjusts its legs to stay standing. So far it hasn’t become self-aware and fought back, but really, this is clearly how the robot enslavement of humanity is going to begin, isn’t it?

Until that day though, its main functions could be in search and rescue, mapping and accessing disaster zones, where its ability to stay on its four feet will certainly be put to the test.

The newest member of the Boston Dynamics family isn’t actually the company’s first robot dog: BigDog is its bigger brother, designed to carry and lift large objects. Spot is smaller and nimbler – a svelte 160-pounds, compared to BigDog’s chunky 240. Aside from the size difference, the pair clearly share a similar set of design notes, with both packing four hydraulic legs and a sensor head.

Those hydraulic legs not only allow it to stay stable when mean old scientists literally put the boot in, they also mean that Spot can run at a fast horse-like canter, climb steps and navigate hills. Impressive stuff.

All in all, it’s our second favorite robot dog of all time. The first: Dog from Half Life 2. Sure, Boston Dynamics’ dog is a bit more dog-like, but does it play fetch? Not yet.

Your move, guys.

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