Boston Dynamics is one of the leading developers of advanced robotics, breaking the internet with its robot dog Spot. Since its release, multiple competitors have released similar devices, including military defence company Ghost Robotics.
Last year, Ghost Robotics freaked out the world with its weaponised robot dog. Designed for the American military, this robot had a massive rifle strapped to its mechanical back.
Upon its reveal, many noted similarities between the Ghost Robotics machine and Boston Dynamics’ original. As it just so happens, fans are not the only ones who noticed as Boston Dynamics has filed a lawsuit for patent infringement.
In the lawsuit, Dynamics alleges that the defence company’s machine infringes on seven different patents. The company argues that the Vision 60 and Spirit 40 quadruped robots boast multiple infringements on the original machines.
Boston Dynamics complained that the “defendant has deliberately continued to infringe in a wanton, malicious, and egregious manner, with reckless disregard for Boston Dynamics’ patent rights.”
Over the years, Boston Dynamics has sent multiple cease and desist letters to the defendant. The robotics company has been instructed to stop marketing its machines until the alleged patent infringements are dealt with.
Speaking to robotics blog The Robot Report, a Boston Dynamics spokesperson explained that this isn’t a matter of crushing competition. Instead, it’s simply a matter of protecting its technology.
“We do not comment on the specifics of pending litigation,” they said. “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.”
Ghost Robotics isn’t the only robotics competitor on the market. For example, Unitree, Xiaomi and more are all working on commercial robot dogs.
However, the defendant’s robotics company is one of the few focused on providing military robots. In comparison, Boston Dynamics, Unitree and more have pledged to not militaries their machines.
Initially, Spot the robot dog was initially focused on research. However, the machine has become increasingly commercialised as research continues.