Today we saw the first glimpse of Softbank’s influence on Boston Dynamics. Softbank acquired Boston Dynamics in June 2017 for an undisclosed sum, and it’s now helping Boston Dynamics make more aesthetically-pleasing robots.
Boston Dynamics today released a 24-second video teasing a new version of its SpotMini robot dog. And boy did the robot get a major makeover. The first thing you’ll notice is that SpotMini’s body is now covered in a plastic, yellow shell for a much friendlier look.
But the new SpotMini also ditched the manipulator robot arm that was on the top of its body. But SpotMini also has new 3D vision cameras on its side and back obstacle avoidance. It movements seem a lot smoother than before, too.
It appears Softbank is pushing Boston Dynamics to commercialize its first robot, which has always been the big question.