Boston Dynamics is expanding its lineup of robotic dogs with a model that can self-charge. Spot Enterprise comes with a charging dock that allows the robot to replenish its batteries without the help of humans. As such, it can operate in remote or dangerous areas for longer.
Spot Enterprise has upgraded hardware that bolsters safety and communications, according to the company. The robot can carry out actions autonomously across a wider area than the previous model and operators can quickly retrieve large data sets from it. Boston Dynamics says it expanded Spot Enterprise's WiFi support and increased the flexibility of the robot's payload ports.
Along with Spot Enterprise, Boston Dynamics announced a browser-based system called Scout that allows users to operate Spot remotely. It allows people to control the robot manually or run pre-programmed autonomous actions with a simple user interface.
The company also announced Spot Arm, a robotic arm that can grasp, lift, carry, place and drag a range of objects manually or semi-autonomously. The arm can help Spot to open and shut valves, turn handles and knobs and pull levers, which will allow it to open doors. The robot can also be equipped with a thermal imaging payload that has 30x optical zoom.
Boston Dynamics says it has sold more than 400 Spot Explorers since it opened commercial sales in June. While it’s only selling the robots to companies for now, it plans to make Spot available for home use someday.