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Boston Dynamics unveils new dog-like robot

Boston Dynamics (opens in new tab), known for creating amazing robots, has unveiled a new robot mule called Spot.

Unlike the Big Dog robot-mule, which took the world by surprise four years ago, Spot is much smaller, and uses technology that has been improved over the past couple of years.

The company published a promotional video on YouTube on Tuesday, showing a four-legged robot, weighing in at 160 lb (72.5 kg).

The machine is electrically powered and uses hydraulics to move around.

The video itself doesn't have a detailed explanation other than some basic information, and adds that it has a sensor head "that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain".

In the video, Spot uses hydraulics to move around, something like the recently updated Atlas robot used in the DARPA's DRC Challenge.

Being electrically powered, it's also much quieter than the larger robots using internal combustion engines.

A significant change is also in the legs of the machine, whose knees are now bent backwards, like on a goat – and the robot moves around pretty much like one.

It can easily climb hills and a flight of stairs, but what’s most interesting – it’s more stable than probably half of the military personnel which will be using it.

In the video, Spot is seen casually strolling around the Boston Dynamics’ office, when suddenly, a man’s leg comes flying out of a cubicle and hits the machine.

It stumbles a bit, but doesn’t fall over, showing impressive balance for a robot.

You can check out Spot in action in the video above.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.