Secretive Boston Dynamics emerging from shadows with commercial robot

BOSTON — A robotics company that made its animal-like walking machines famous on YouTube is emerging from a quarter-century of stealth.

Former employees of Boston Dynamics told The Associated Press that the secretive Massachusetts company has long acted more like a research lab than a business.

But there are signs that's changing now that it's no longer funded by U.S. defense grants.

Boston Dynamics founder and CEO Marc Raibert says mass production of the dog-like SpotMini will begin next year. It's the company's first commercial robot since its founding in 1992. It will be marketed as a camera-equipped security guard.

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Raibert played down fears that the company's scary-looking robots could one day be used to kill.

Google bought the firm in 2013, then sold it to Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank in February.