NEWS

Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog goes on sale in 2019

The mechanical star of many YouTube videos might show up in a building near you.

SpotMini, Boston Dynamics’ agile four-legged robot, will go on sale next year for companies that want a mechanical quadruped to get to places a wheeled device can’t reach.

Boston Dynamics has 10 SpotMini prototypes now and will work with manufacturing partners to build 100 this year, company co-founder and President Marc Raibert said at a TechCrunch robotics conference Friday. “That’s a prelude to getting into a higher rate of production” in anticipation of sales next year, he said.

Who’ll buy it? Probably not you, at least to start.

Raibert didn’t reveal price plans, but said the SpotMini robots could be useful for security patrols or for helping construction companies keep tabs on what’s happening at building sites. SpotMini can be customized with attachments and extra software for particular jobs, he said.

Eventually, though, the company hopes to sell it for use in people’s homes.

“Most places have something where wheels don’t get you everywhere,” Raibert said. “We think SpotMini can go to a much larger fraction of places.”