A new robot dog war. Boston Dynamics, a famous manufacturer of fully electronic canines, accuses its main rival of having violated several of its patents. The company is notably behind SPOT, a remote-controlled robot dog. Several French YouTubers had the opportunity to test the machineincluding Romain Lanéry and Amixem.
In complaint of 110 pages filed on November 11, 2022 in Delaware and relayed by The Register, Boston Dynamics claims that two of Ghost Robotics’ four-legged vehicles infringe at least seven of its patents. To support its accusation, the firm highlights several similarities between its robots and those of its competitor.
Similar robot dog behavior
The Vision 60 models from Ghost Robotics and Spirit 40 would infringe patents related to the detection and avoidance of obstacles when the device climbs stairs, or even the stabilization system on the move. A complaint supported by several captures of YouTube videos on which we can observe the Ghost machines in operation.
In the document, Boston Dynamics says it has repeatedly warned its rival, without success. The company justified its filing of a complaint with our colleagues from TechCrunch. “Innovation is the lifeblood of Boston Dynamics, and our roboticists have successfully filed approximately 500 patents and patent applications worldwide. We welcome competition in the emerging mobile robotics market, but we expect all companies to respect intellectual property rights, and we will take action when those rights are violated.”assures the company.
Ghost Robotics, engaged in arming robots
Ghost Robotics has become famous in recent years with its autonomous robots armed with military weapons. At the time, its CEO justified this new market by referring to a limited list of customers.
“We only sell to the United States and allied governments. We receive a lot of requests for our robots in Russia and China. We don’t ship there, even for our corporate customers”assured then Jiren Parikh.
ConverselyBoston Dynamics made a commitment at the beginning of October alongside five other roboticists (Agility Robotics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics, ANYbotics and Unitree Robotics) not to develop robot soldiers.
“The emergence of advanced mobile robots opens the possibility of misuse […] Armaments is an area of particular concern. We do not support the militarization of our advanced mobility general-purpose robots”, said the signatories of this open letter. Contacted by TechCrunch on the subject of the complaint, Ghost Robotics has not yet reacted.