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Robot Dog May Have a Future in the Circus

Cirque de Soliel is in talks with Boston Dynamics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 27, 2019 12:10 AM CDT
A Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot is walks through a conference room during a robotics summit in Boston.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
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(Newser) – Animal-like robots that started out as a military-funded research project might be shipped off to the circus instead of the battlefield. Cirque du Soleil says it's in talks with robot maker Boston Dynamics about using the four-legged Spot robot in its live shows, the AP reports. The agile robots walk, climb stairs, and open doors. They have become famous on YouTube but haven't been applied commercially since the company was founded in 1992.

That's changing this fall. The Waltham, Mass., robotics firm revealed in a YouTube post this week that Spot is now in mass production and shipping to select customers for such uses as monitoring construction sites or inspecting energy facilities. Cirque du Soleil says it's still in the "ideation" stage and evaluating Spot's potential in live entertainment. (Read more Boston Dynamics stories.)

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