Revamped Spot Mini robot dog unveiled

Despite being sold off by Alphabet, Boston Dynamics is continuing with its development of quadrupedal robots.

A sneak preview of its upgraded Spot Mini robot has been released, showing a robust chassis and sensor housing with a sleek black and yellow colour scheme.

In the teaser video, the Spot Mini's lithe movement is visible, with its angular goat-like legs letting the robot hop and perform a speedy turn around a wall.

The robot has been designed for use in the office, home and outdoors.

Originally, the Spot Mini weighed 25kg and was designed as a "nimble robot" that can climb stairs.

It was also able to pick up and handle objects when combined with an additional 5kg arm, although it is not clear what functionality may have been added or lost with the upgrade.

Technology giant Softbank bought Boston Dynamics from Google's parent company Alphabet for an undisclosed sum back in June.

Video:Boston Dynamic's Big Dog robot

The teaser trailer of its upgraded robot is the first research and development announcement the company has made since the acquisition.

The robotics business had been on sale for more than a year after it failed to meet attempts to fulfil US military contracts, with the noise of the robots dissuading the Pentagon from splashing out on the kit.

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Of the range of robots that Boston Dynamics has built, including Big Dog, the Spot Mini is the most likely to be able to meet the criteria for a contract in the future.

It is the quietest robot that the company develops and is all-electric, with no hydraulic parts.

Boston Dynamics claims it can run for about 90 minutes on a charge.

The research and development of the original Big Dog robot was funded by the US military's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The company, which is typically tight-lipped about its research and development, says more about the Spot Mini is "coming soon".

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