In June 2016, the company Boston Dynamics introduced the Spot Mini – a robot dog. Now, the company says it will offer the robot for sale to businesses.

The purpose of the robot will be determined by the people using it because it is able to work using custom software. Some people have discussed using it to do dangerous tasks that are difficult for humans to do, like finding explosives in hard-to-reach places.

The Spot Mini is the third in a line of robot dogs developed in the past decade. The first dog, called Big Dog, was built to carry heavy ammunition in battlefields. However, the military said that the robot was too big and noisy, and if used would give away the location of the troops to the enemy.

The next robot dog in line was called Spot. Spot was smaller and more nimble than Big Dog, but wasn’t quite ready for commercial use.  

Spot Mini’s movements are smoother and more life-like. It also has a long neck that is able to perform finer skills, like opening doors or putting dishes in a dishwasher. The Spot Mini only needs to be controlled by a remote once to learn the actions and its environment, and after that, it can move and do things on its own.

A video of the Spot Mini opening a door and escaping with a robot friend had people worried and scared. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, was one of these people. He has warned against artificial intelligence many times, saying that robots are more dangerous to humanity than nuclear weapons.

Boston Dynamics disagrees and believes the robots will be used for good. In fact, they have now begun developing a more human-like robot called Atlas.   

Source: Chicago Tribune