The SoftBank subsidiary just launched Spot 2.0, the latest update to the dog-inspired bot. It's now better at climbing stairs and managing slippery surfaces, while its updated autonomous navigation APIs make it more commercially viable as a mobility platform, according to Zack Jackowski, lead robotics engineer on Spot.
- One API was expanded so users can direct Spot to navigate autonomously through buildings, rather than just to specific locations.
- It can now navigate to waypoints on its own instead of taking a predetermined path.
- Spot 2.0 no longer identifies stairs as "weird hills" and can better place its feet to climb them.
- The bot is currently helping health-care workers at a Boston hospital interview patients via a tablet for video conferencing, reducing their exposure to COVID-19.