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Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot Gets A Price Tag: $75 Grand – Hackaday

Not long ago, Boston Dynamics’ Spot finally went on sale, meaning the dog-like robot can now be purchased online. Previously it was available only to be leased by early adopters willing to pay to see what the robot had to offer. Pricing was tucked behind an NDA, and Spot could be only leased and not actually purchased — until now.
From a hobbyist’s perspective, Spot’s price is of course eye-watering; the cost of the accessories even more so. It would be perfectly understandable to ask what good is a robotic dog and what makes it worth such a cost?
From an industrial equipment point of view, the cost is perhaps less shocking. Maybe it’s a reminder that from an industrial and commercial perspective, the price of a thing matters mainly in relation to what kind of benefits it can bring, and what kind of price or savings can be hung on that.
Hackers being hackers and free from having to worry about such things, some choose to make their own four-legged robot pals with no winning lotto tickets, juicy grants, or enormous R&D budgets needed.
Ok I have to admit that price was lower than I was expecting.
Maybe they are discovering the market is limited and now need to just move product to increase interest
Yah it is then you realize it costs as much as a well optioned new Corvette.
I made this argument to one of their employees at ICRA 19 – his response was basically “yeah but it’s awesome”… “So’s a brand new sports car”.
“Maybe they are discovering the market is limited and now need to just move product to increase interest”
Methinks they should get Bertha Benz to take it for a test drive!
When you walk on the lot, pretend you’re gonna want financing, then pay cash when they’ve pared the figures down, that’s how you get the good deals.
I thought asking for financing was getting them to keep the price at max as the dealers get the money from the bank?
In the finest government contractor tradition, an Ethernet + Serial port add-on is only $1275.
yes, but they are coated in unobtainium .
a whole article and they didn’t mention the price tag. Oooppppsss.. $74,500.00USD for those people who don’t want to click a link…
Yeah, way to bury the lead…
$100,000 AUD was my guess, so I wasn’t too far off.
It’s not like a DIY project that you would need to slap-together yourself now, is it?
yea i hate articles that do that.
If you have to ask…
That’s no excuse, Elliot, and you know it
True, but it was just a bit bizarre to not actually say the number in the article. You could have had a whole other paragraph about the crazy price of those add-ons, too!
To be fair and balanced, the majority of USA media outlets use click-bait headlines…. calling you out, CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYT, etc.
“Top 5 Most Click-Baity News Outlets; Number 4 Will SHOCK you!!”
Scoured the article for any numbers then came to the comments. Thanks for giving me the headline number.
If you just want one to play with, book a birthday party or function appearance once a week at $250 a pop and that’ll pay down yer loan.
Totally should have had that in the story. I popped it up into the headline.
With cameras and scanning options you can double that.
Do you actually own it, or just a licence to operate it?
There’s a v2.0 SDK on GitHub, so that’s something. They’re very CYA about their liability if you do accidents or injuries (WEIRDLY DOESN’T MENTION CRIMES). But doesn’t seem like they’re holding too much back. Is there a budget to raise the funds to buy one and tear it down?
Yassss, can go full on Chappie then…
You seem almost too excited by that oversight in the EULA.
Kind of hard to commit a crime with something that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Cover it in urban marpat or some other appropriate camo…
– Black 3.0?
For that price tag, it better come with a guarantee that it wont hump my leg or eat my shoes.
evil genie dev: “Wish granted, logical operator changed from OR to AND”
The cost seems a lot but I have a retired military working dog and it was suggested to me that the total cost of producing and operating one of those dogos is higher than the cost of a Spot robot. In the light of that and assuming the police dogs are similarly valuable you could make an argument for having a spot in the back of each police vehicle for dealing with situations that would otherwise place the officer’s life in danger, and therefore also the life of the person they were dealing with. i.e. deploying Spot could save a lot of lives, the only question is what are the most effective accessories to equip it with in that situation? Some may suggest a net thrower, others a reefer dispenser, perhaps even both…
You could make the argument that a real military or police dog is more valuable than a bare robotic platform. When those bots come with a sensitive nose, great hearing, or decent vision, that might change.
Considering some of the research out there, that may not be long in coming.
Maybe it would be close to a real dog if they get full voice control over it. Good luck telling Spot to help you undo a belt, get your keys, open a door etc. all simple things a real dog can do.
Spot can open doors etc., but that is not the point, the real value is in the fact that Spot can deal with a suspect without a real dog or a human life being put at risk and that makes the police less likely to shoot first and ask questions later.
A bit pricey, isn’t it? A color camera fo 21kUSD? The same one with some rc gimbal for 30k? At least one zero too much for these options…
Still a cool machine. If I had time and some money, I’d copy it…
You’re not just paying for the hardware, but also for decade of development.
That’s why I understand the price for the robot itself. But simple camera, even on gimbal, should not cost a third of the robot…
So you would rather have the base robot cost $20k more and the camera $20k less ?
I’d imagine the stabilisation on the cameras makes your average gimbal look like a raver on acid.
They’re also going to be durable against knocks, liquid, gas, etc.
But yeah, still pricy. Unless the alternative is six-figure settlements for workers exposed to dangerous chemicals/radiation/etc.
For 21k you get a camera with transmitter and some hardened box over it for protection. For 30k you can pan, tilt and zoom it remotely. Robot in itself is doing all the stabilization you need. For about 2-2,5k you can get something like CineDrive motion control rig for your camera. There are also robotic bases that work with it either on track or without one, that can be used for some crazy tracking shots. FilmRiot used such a setup for “Frozen in time” effect. So yes, 21k for camera, and 30k for camera with some remote pan and tilt is rather very expensive…
We have one stomping round our office. Has the camera package and co processor. Tbh I kinda expected better really. Collision avoidance is great but it’s video output when moving is a bit clunky. I feel like you’d want to move it. Stop it. Sense stuff. Then move again. Body positioning when stationary is amazing. Super compliant when you lean it or load it up. Very nicely built. Gimbal would be interesting but not sure it’d clean up the vertical movement when it’s walking or trotting. Camera or payload on the creepy arm manipulator thing might be cool. Chicken gimbal style. Drops to the floor with a bang when you hit the estop :p
Where’s the arm option?
Arm, as in arming explosive?
Haven’t won the lottery yet, and even then. Nope. Too pricey for a toy.
It can social distance, what else does it do?
“WARNING. Robot patrolled area. Trespassers will be shot without warning”
This should be a use case legitimizing the price tag for a lot of companies/land owners and institutions.
Nearly 30 comments deep, and nobody mentioned Black Mirror? Amid massive social and political turmoil in the US that is ripe to create a situation where these could be weaponized by the right bidder? Frankly, I’m impressed.
Too easily defeated.
You can just add a small bomb to a DJI drone.. Anything can be weaponized.
Sex bot.
I think that was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5 episode 22 when they use the Buffybot (Made for Spike as a platonic companion obviously) in the attack on Glory.
And one of the Austin Powers movies. Machine gun jubblies!
I can see some one coming up with a modern take on the Soviet anti tank dog with it.
75K is expensive for a person but cheap for a military especially if it disables a 4 million dollar tank.
Nearly 30 comments deep and nobody has mentioned the robotic dogs used to chase down Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451. I am surprised no one has made that link yet.
Or the Rat Thing from Snow Crash.
Came here for the Rat Thing comment. Thank you.
They are very clear with their “don’t let spot ‘accidentally’ hurt you” bit, that they are very aware people are going to use these to inflict injury.
Wow, those prices are eye-watering!
You can order the box of tissues accessory pack for only $100 extra.
I would rather have the old model with the 2-cycle gas engine you could hear coming from 2miles away. I loved hearing the whine while marveling at the “natural” gait of those first attempts at a military companion to carry gear.
How long till they end up like Willow Garage? They burned bridges during their lock-changing antics with Google execs, it’s only a matter of time before they tick off their new handlers when they can’t push product.
So, I guess I won’t be getting a robo-dog pal or a fully autonomous sex robot in this lifetime…
That’s a great price! I’d get 2 or 3 of them, but unfortunately we live in a pretty small place and even we don’t have the room for anything else.
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