Find the answer to common questions about our company, how we approach innovation, and how you can put our solutions to work.


About Us

Why does Boston Dynamics make legged robots?

Boston Dynamics focuses on creating robots with advanced mobility, dexterity, and intelligence. We have long held that mobility sufficient to access both the natural and the human-built world required legs. We began pursuing this vision over 30 years ago, first in academia, and then as Boston Dynamics, both because it was an exciting technical challenge and because we wanted to build a robot that could go where people go. The commonly referred to “dull, dirty, and dangerous” tasks don’t occur solely on a neatly organized factory floor—they pop up in the natural world and human-built environments. These are places where being effective requires deftly maneuvering through rocky trails, staircases, catwalks, doors, or narrow cluttered passages.

While we take the natural world as inspiration for our robots, the design is ultimately motivated by functionality. Our robots end up moving like humans and animals not because we designed them to look that way, but because we built them to balance and move dynamically. It is this organic quality of dynamically stable motion that people tend to associate with lifelike movement. Partly because of the benefits of dynamic motion, our robots can navigate tough unstructured, unknown, or antagonistic terrain with ease. Wheeled and tracked robots are limited by stairs, gaps, ground-level obstructions such as cabling, and staged materials and minor height differences in flooring. These environments don't present the same challenges for legged robots.

What makes Boston Dynamics unique?

First and foremost, Boston Dynamics has been building dynamically stable, legged machines longer than anyone else in the world. We’ve been at it more than 30 years: Boston Dynamics has invented techniques to make robots work that can’t be found in any textbook or technical article, and with thousands of robots now deployed on customer sites, our robots have more real world experience than anyone else. These unique designs enable our robots to conquer terrains inaccessible to others and to perform automated tasks in unstructured environments, while our reliability and scale make us a trusted partner to hundreds of customers in more than 35 countries around the world.

What principles guide your decisions about the development and sale of your products?

Our mission is to imagine and create exceptional robots that enrich people’s lives. By building robots that have the mobility, dexterity, and perception required to contribute to our modern society, we strive to create a future in which humans and machines work together to improve everyone's safety, productivity, and quality of life. Read more about the ethical principles that guide our business.

Where are your robots made?

Our robots are designed and perfected in our office in Waltham, Massachusetts and are made in the United States.

Who funds Boston Dynamics? Can I buy stock?

In June 2021, Hyundai Motor Group acquired a majority interest in Boston Dynamics and now holds an 80 percent stake in the company. SoftBank, through one of its affiliates, holds the remaining 20 percent. Boston Dynamics operates as an independent business within the larger Hyundai portfolio.

Can I buy a Boston Dynamics robot?

Spot and Stretch are available commercially, while Atlas is an R&D robot and is not available for sale. Our products are designed for commercial, industrial, enterprise, and university research uses. You can contact Spot Sales or Stretch Sales to speak to our expert team about your solution. However, our products are not intended for purchase by individuals for non-commercial use.

Robotics, R&D, Ethics, and Innovation

Can Boston Dynamics robots really do all those things in your videos?

Yes! It’s important to us to show the reality of what our robots can do, so we do not use computer-generated imagery or other editing tricks in our videos. Whether we are showing our latest research or our newest product feature, we focus on showing real capabilities (and sometimes we even show our failures!) Our robots are designed to do real work in the real world, and with thousands of robots deployed on customer sites today, we are setting the standard for mobile robotics.

What are Boston Dynamics robots used for?

Boston Dynamics robots are used to automate work in wide variety of industries. Spot is a powerful industrial inspection robot, while Stretch automates case handling in warehouses. Our robots tackle dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks—making operations more efficient and keeping people out of harm’s way.

Do Boston Dynamics' robots use Artificial Intelligence?

Out-of-the-box, Spot has an inherent sense of balance and perception that enables it to walk steadily on a wide variety of terrains. This form of AI, which we call “athletic intelligence,” allows Spot to walk, climb stairs, avoid obstacles, traverse difficult terrain, and autonomously follow preset routes with little or no input from users. Stretch has a similar sensing and vision system that allows it to determine which boxes to pick in what order and avoid bumping into shipping container walls.

How is Spot being used by police and fire departments?

Police and fire departments are using Spot to get remote visibility into potentially dangerous situations. By remotely assessing a scene before taking action, they can make more informed decisions that reduce risk, improve safety, and de-escalate conflict.

Police and fire departments use Spot to inspect suspicious packages and environments for hazardous materials or explosives, assess hostile threats remotely, and to search structurally dangerous environments in emergency response scenarios. In public safety applications, our robots help keep first responders and the public out of harm's way. Learn more about the ethical principles that guide our policies for public safety use cases.

Can Spot be used to conduct mass surveillance?

No. Spot is not designed to conduct mass surveillance or to replace police officers. We will not authorize nor partner with those who wish to use our robots in a way that violates privacy and civil rights laws. We understand that emerging artificial intelligence technologies including computer vision and personal identification algorithms raise questions about the ethics, legality, and potential for bias around their use in the public sphere.

Are your robots currently being used by the military?

Yes, but only in non-weaponized applications. Spot is a general purpose robot with broad applications, including military uses like remote inspection of hazardous environments, rescue operations, or logistics operations. But our robots are not made specifically for any particular government or military purpose. We strictly prohibit the weaponization of our general purpose robots, as outlined in our terms & conditions, our ethical principles, and in an open letter spearheaded by Boston Dynamics and co-signed by five other leading robotics companies.

Why did you spearhead the open letter against the weaponization of general purpose robots?

Many of the companies represented in the letter do have existing anti-weaponization policies, but there are others in the industry that do not. We’ve seen an increase in makeshift efforts by individuals attempting to weaponize commercially available robots, but this letter indicates that the broader advanced mobile robotics industry opposes the weaponization of general purpose robots and is committed to avoiding it. We are hopeful the strength in our numbers will encourage policymakers to engage on this issue to help us promote the safe use of mobile robots and prohibit their misuse.

Are Boston Dynamics robots autonomous?

Boston Dynamics robots are designed to perform specific work autonomously and to recover autonomously from unexpected situations. For example, Spot automates data capture following inspection routes set by operators; once an autonomous mission is created, Spot will reliably perform the same routine, dynamically replanning around obstacles without operator intervention.

When will your robots be available for sale for consumer use?

Our products are currently designed for industrial and commercial use. As our technology continues to mature, we are hopeful that we will be able to offer useful and delightful consumer level products. We are as excited as you are about helpful robots in our daily lives, and with the support of our customers, we will get there in the not-too-distant future.

Working with Spot

What are your Terms of Sale for Spot?

We take great care to make sure our customers intend to use our robots legally. We cross-check every purchase request against the U.S. Government's denied persons and entities lists, prior to authorizing a sale. In addition, all buyers must agree to our Terms and Conditions of Sale, which state that our products must be used in compliance with the law, and cannot be used to harm or intimidate people or animals, or be used as a weapon or configured to hold a weapon. Any violation of our Terms will automatically void the product’s warranty and prevent the robot from being updated, serviced, repaired or replaced.

How do you operate Spot?

Spot is designed to be easy to use and fast to learn. Spot can be driven via the tablet control, teleoperated from our Scout software, or deployed autonomously. For more information on safely operating Spot, check out our support site. We offer resources to help you learn the basics, from unboxing Spot to running your first autonomous mission.

Do you offer training?

Yes, we offer a range of training options to fit the needs of our customers, whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your operations with Spot. Please contact your account manager or our sales team to learn more.

What is a typical maintenance schedule for Spot?

Spot is a robust platform designed for reliability. Typical field maintenance tasks might include routine cleanings and replacing worn foot treads. We also offer industry leading customer support, as well as an extended service plan to address any issues that might arise. Please visit our Support Center to learn more about Spot maintenance.

Will Spot be modified for in-home use?

Spot is a powerful, 70 lb. industrial robot. It is intended for industrial and commercial use by individuals with proper training, who operate it in accordance with its user guide. This robot is not intended for use in the home, or by children or others who cannot operate it responsibly. 

Working with Stretch

How fast can Stretch move cases?

Stretch moves hundreds of cases per hour, depending on the specific configuration of the container and cases.

How soon can the robot be up and running in my facility?

From the time Stretch is first delivered to a site, it can be fully operational in as little as five days depending on a site’s existing configuration. Deploying any additional robots is even faster.

Is it difficult to learn how to operate Stretch?

No. Stretch operators do not need an engineering or technical background. The ideal operators are employees who understand the inbound and receiving warehouse process. New operators can be trained in just two days.

What are the safety requirements for deploying Stretch?

Stretch is a powerful industrial machine and should always be operated with a safety system in place. We offer several options depending on your warehouse infrastructure and configuration. Please visit our support center for more information on safely and efficiently operating Stretch.