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Robots made famous on YouTube could be headed to circus

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot walks through a conference room during a robotics summit in Boston in 2018. The Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group says it’s in talks with Boston Dynamics about using the four-legged Spot robot in its live shows.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot walks through a conference room during a robotics summit in Boston in 2018. The Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group says it’s in talks with Boston Dynamics about using the four-legged Spot robot in its live shows.

BOSTON >> Animal-like robots that started out as a military-funded research project might be shipped off to the circus instead of the battlefield.

Cirque du Soleil says it’s in talks with robot maker Boston Dynamics about using the four-legged Spot robot in its live shows.

The agile robots walk, climb stairs and open doors. They have become famous on YouTube but haven’t been applied commercially since the company was founded in 1992.

That’s changing this fall. The Waltham, Massachusetts, robotics firm revealed in a YouTube post this week that Spot is now in mass production and shipping to select customers for such uses as monitoring construction sites or inspecting energy facilities.

Cirque du Soleil says it’s still in the “ideation” stage and evaluating Spot’s potential in live entertainment.

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