Before we look behind the curtain of one of the companies that is betting the most on the world of embedded robotics, Boston Dynamics, I throw you a question, what do you think about what the future holds and how it will change our lifestyle?
I love this topic, I’m fascinated by what the future might bring. Let’s assume that we come to our senses about global warming, that we have managed to turn the tables and have a recovered and healing planet; I envision our future as very technological and robotic.
I love the representation that appears in the cinema of this society plagued by holograms and robotic assistants, leaving aside the fact that there is always a crisis or everything falls apart or the system collapses because the bad guy is a bad guy and wants to use it for his own benefit. Will we get to the point where we can have a conversation with a robot? I imagine so, even if the information it can give us is data that is devoid of feelings.
A few days ago Elon Musk said in an interview that it was clear to him that the working future of many workers would be affected by the replacement of robots and machines following technological progress. That this would imply important economic measures to be taken, governments would have to allocate payments or pensions for a population relegated from their jobs. Of course, the world has to keep eating and you can’t plan for a future where everything is automatic and people live on air, who would consume then? I was talking about, hypothetically, that job training should focus on actions that no robot can replace, such as application in psychology, research, robotic mechanics, innovation… in Elon’s mental world, we are all scientists, doctors or engineers. And those of us who are bad at maths, what do we do?
I believe that step by step we are advancing and adjusting our society to what the future holds for us.
And as we mentioned at the beginning, the leading company in robotics technology is Boston Dynamics.
Who they are
Boston Dynamics is an American engineering and robotics company that specialises in building robots. The company was founded in 1992 by engineer Marc Raibert, a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 2021, it has been part of the Hyundai Group.
What they do
Boston Dynamics is one of the pioneers in the development of robots. Its most famous product is the Spot dog, which already has multiple applications ranging from assisting some police forces to checking security in certain infrastructures.
They are currently working on Atlas, a highly mobile humanoid robot designed to negotiate rough terrain and the outdoors. It can walk on two limbs and leave its upper limbs free to lift, transport and manipulate the environment. Have you seen their video with the construction site operator? You can see it in this link .
The 1.5-metre, 89-kilogram robot has gradually improved its movements to make them more fluid. In addition, it has also made progress in recognising objects, so that it can work with them with fewer problems.
B.D. points out that we are still far from being able to see a robot like Atlas in a real construction environment, as all kinds of events can happen for which the robot is not programmed to react. However, it has been improving its agility and is making steady progress.
Now on sale
The robot they have put on sale is the Spot Explorer version. This is the kit designed for commercial companies and includes the robot itself, two batteries, the charger, a controller, a housing for the robot and different software for programming and modifying Spot. After years of development and exclusive sale to companies chosen by Boston Dynamics itself, the robot-dog can now be purchased by any company in the United States. But it won’t come cheap, at $74,500 per unit.
Separately, it is possible to buy extra batteries at $4,620 each or even a premium warranty service for $15,000 a year. A bargain.
And you, would you have a humanoid robot at home to do your household chores?