Boston Dynamics claims Ghost copied its robot dog design
Boston Dynamics is committed to maintaining a dominant position in the growing market for terrifying robot dogs. The IT firm has launched a lawsuit against Ghost Robotics, based in Philadelphia, for allegedly infringing on Boston Dynamics’ patents.
The Register collected and reported on a complaint that claims Ghost Robotics stole the concept of a semi-autonomous robot dog developed by Boston Dynamics and used it to create the Vision 60 and Spirit 40. In its 110-page complaint, Boston Dynamics alleges that the methods used by Vision 60 and Spirit 40 to collect sight information, process environmental data, and even climb stairs may infringe upon one or more of the company’s patents, which it has successfully obtained since its founding as an MIT spinoff in 1992. A jury trial is also what Boston Dynamics wants.
The complaint states that Boston Dynamics “has been and continues to be a pioneer and leading innovator in building quadrupedal and bipedal robots” due to the company’s “early roots in the robotics business.” To paraphrase, “competitors in the robotics sector, like Ghost Robotics, took notice of Boston Dynamics’ early success with the Spot robot.”
According to a news statement from the Air Force, Ghost Robotics and their menacing robot canines paid a visit to the Tyndall Air Force base in Florida in the year 2021. According to Business Insider, Ghost Robotics visited Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in 2020 to test out its canines, and the company subsequently got a contract from the Air Force in April of that year.
Akin to how dogs are man’s best friend, the robots made by Boston Dynamics and Ghost Robotics are invaluable to the police and the military. Boston Dynamics has capitalised on national security, as reported extensively by Gizmodo. The company collaborated with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on the Atlas disaster response robot. Ghost Robotics has also been collaborating with the military to help patrol the southern border of the United States using their technology.
However, a provision prohibiting its usage for evil was included in the sale of Boston Dynamics’ Spot when it was first released. Ghost Robotics is content to go all in on the military, while the business has been adamant that its robots will not be used for weapons or to kill people. However, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an arm of the United States military, was an early investor in Boston Dynamics, which has now shifted its focus to civilian markets. Therefore, it is possible that Boston Dynamics is complaining because of competition in a market that they normally dominate.