The Morning After: You can buy a Boston Dynamics robot for $75k

The Boston Dynamics store is open, if you're in the mood to buy a robot dog.

Updated ·4 min read
Boston Dynamics

Enterprise software news isn’t usually how we’d start off your morning, but in a world where remote work is more common than ever, Google’s new partnership with Parallels is worth noting. The virtualization company is best known for making Windows software work on Macs, but now it’s going to do the same thing for Google’s cloud-connected Chrome OS.

Chromebook (Engadget)

More information is due in the “coming months,” before the partnership launches this fall, but if the only thing keeping your organization away from Chrome OS is access to Microsoft Office and other apps then that’s about to change.

— Richard

$75,000 will get you a Boston Dynamics Spot robot

The robot dog the internet loves is going on sale.

Spot robot
Spot robot (Boston Dynamics)

We’ve seen Boston Dynamics’ four-legged robotic dog, Spot, help triage patients with COVID-19, hold the door for a fellow bot, herd sheep and more. But until now, Spot was only available under short-term lease in Boston Dynamics’ Early Adopter Program. Now, businesses in the US can buy their very own Spot robots. Costs will vary, though.

The Spot Explorer, designed for developers looking to work with Spot, makes one robot available for $74,500. Additional batteries and add-ons, like LIDAR, can run from $4,620 to $18,450. Spot is meant for commercial and industrial use, and orders are subject to Boston Dynamics’ terms, which require “beneficial use” of the robots.
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NBA restart plan includes using Oura rings to catch COVID-19 symptoms

The league’s ‘bubble’ will be full of wearable devices.

Oura smart ring
Oura smart ring (Oura)

As the NBA moves toward restarting its season with players and other personnel isolated at Walt Disney World in Orlando, details of how it hopes to manage the people on site are leaking out.

The part specifically interesting to us — other than players-only lounges with NBA 2K to play and bracelets that beep if people are within six feet of each other for too long — is its proposed use of Oura’s smart rings. Earlier this month, a study suggested that physiological data from the rings, combined with information obtained from wearers via in-app surveys, can “forecast and predict the onset of COVID-19 related symptoms” three days in advance, with 90 percent accuracy.

According to The Athletic, use of the rings will be optional, and there’s no word on what other data will help track possible symptoms. ESPN reporter Zach Lowe says that if players wear the rings, team personnel will not have access unless it detects an “illness probability score” that triggers a medical review.
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The first FDA-approved prescription video game will help kids with ADHD

It will be available from app stores and won't require any special equipment.

The FDA has approved the first video game in the country that can be prescribed as treatment. It’s entitled EndeavorRx, and while it’s not exactly comparable to your favorite AAA video games, it’s designed to improve the attention function of kids with ADHD. To be exact, it was developed for pediatric patients ages 8 to 12 with primarily inattentive or combined-type ADHD.

While users will be able to download it from their mobile devices’ app store — and it doesn’t need any special equipment — it’s intended for use as part of a therapeutic program, which could also include medication and other types of therapy.
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Google makes its WiFi routers work better with slow internet connections

You should see fewer drops when you're juggling multiple tasks.

Google WiFi
Google WiFi (Engadget)

Google’s new update to its Nest and WiFi routers targets shakier connections. The upgrade should help devices move to faster WiFi radio channels, and help routers prioritize devices. Your kids’ YouTube viewing, for example, is less likely to hiccup when signals get dicey. You should also get the obligatory round of security and stability fixes. These features should reach Google’s routers automatically in the next few weeks.
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What to buy your dad who's hopelessly low-tech

Tech support (probably) not required.

Harmony (Will Lipman Photography)

We lay out the best gadgets and tech for fathers out there that aren’t the best with… gadgets and tech. My pro-tip? Get him a password manager — for your own sanity.
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