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Photos: Meet Spot the robot dog

The latest robot to come out of the labs of Google-owned Boston Dynamics is a nippy machine that can climb stairs and uneven terrain with relative ease.

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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 7 Image: Boston Dynamics

Google-owned Boston Dynamics (BD) has shown off its latest robotic creation, an agile bot named after man's best friend.

Spot, seen on the far left, is a four-legged robot that appears to be a smaller, faster version of BD's more famous BigDog, also pictured here among BD's family of quadrupedal bots.

Weighing in at 160 lbs, compared to BigDog's 240, Spot shares the larger robot's ability to use its sensor head to negotiate rough terrain.

BD hasn't revealed how Spot works other than to say it's electrically powered with hydraulic motors. However, it appears to share sensor technology with BigDog, which relies on sensors measuring joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a gyroscope, LIDAR and a stereo vision system.

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2 of 7 Image: Boston Dynamics

Just like BigDog, Spot appears to be able to regain its footing after a slip.

Here a firm kick and the icy ground aren't enough to topple the robot, with Spot able to stay balanced and carry on walking.

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3 of 7 Image: Boston Dynamics

The machine is seen handling a rocky and uneven uphill path with relative ease.

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4 of 7 Image: Boston Dynamics

Stairs also seem to do little to slow Spot down.

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5 of 7 Image: Boston Dynamics

The robot appears to be capable of travelling at a rate equivalent to a steady jog.

As impressive as that may be, Spot moves at a crawl compared to BD's Cheetah bot, which runs at 29mph, faster than 100m world champion sprinter Usain Bolt.

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6 of 7 Image: Boston Dynamics

Here Spot lines up against the much larger and noisier Legged Support System (LS3) for a race uphill, before quickly pulling into the lead. What the DARPA-funded LS3 loses in speed it makes up for in strength, able to carry up to 400 lbs of gear and enough fuel for a 20-mile mission lasting 24 hours.

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7 of 7 Image: Boston Dynamics

Spot is shown roaming the halls of Boston Dynamics, with the company saying it is suited to being used indoors, as well as outdoors.

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