Ghost Robotics responds to Boston Dynamics lawsuit

Boston Dynamics’ Spot (left) and Ghost Robotics’ Vision 60.

Ghost Robotics has responded to the patent infringement lawsuit recently filed by Boston Dynamics.

Earlier this week, we learned that Boston Dynamics is suing competitor Ghost Robotics for allegedly infringing on seven patents related to the former’s Spot quadruped robot. Filed in Delaware Federal court on November 11, 2022, Boston Dynamics takes issue with both Ghost Robotics’ Vision 60 and Sprint 40 quadrupeds.

Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 and has worked on a variety of legged robots, both two-legged and four-legged versions. Ghost Robotics was founded in 2015 and has focused exclusively on quadrupeds.

According to the complaint, “Boston Dynamics’ early success with the Spot robot did not go unnoticed by competitors in the robotics industry, including Ghost Robotics.”

Here’s what Boston Dynamics told The Robot Report earlier this week via email: “We do not comment on the specifics of pending litigation. 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 just sent the following statement to The Robot Report:

“Founded in 2015, Ghost Robotics has quickly grown to become the number one supplier of legged robots to US and Allied Governments. The flagship Vision 60 robot offers best-in-class endurance, speed, weather protection, and field repairability. It is the only legged robot on the market that is capable of operating in all environmental conditions for sustained, real-world missions to improve efficiency and save lives.

“Evolving from close customer collaboration, coupled with exceptional innovation at Ghost Robotics, these capabilities have led to rapid adoption by US Air Force, Army, and Special Forces as well as Allied Governments including the UK, Australia, Israel, Germany, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea Blue House.

“Ghost Robotics was born out of the PhD research of CTO Avik De and CEO Gavin Kenneally, under the tutelage of the esteemed Prof. Dan Koditschek at The University of Pennsylvania. Prof. Koditschek is a pioneer in the field of legged robots and holds the patent (jointly with his former students, Martin Buehler and Uluc Saranli) for the first battery-powered, dynamic legged robot, RHex (US6481513B2, filed March 14, 2001).

“Ghost Robotics’ success has not gone unnoticed by Boston Dynamics. Rather than compete on a level playing field, the company chose to file an obstructive and baseless lawsuit on November 11th in an attempt to halt the newcomer’s progress. Boston Dynamics is drawing on their considerably larger resources to litigate instead of innovate.

“Ghost Robotics strongly believes that fair competition drives the market and looks forward to a thriving legged robot industry, for the benefit of humanity.”

These are three of the first quadruped robots to ever be available commercially. We will keep an eye on how this plays out in court. Other quadruped makers include ANYbotics (Switzerland) and Unitree Robotics (China).

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