SpotMini Struts Its Stuff

Boston Dynamics, the lauded robotics company famed for its ‘Big Dog’ robot and other machines which push mechanical dexterity to impressive limits have produced a smaller version of their ‘Spot’ robot dubbed ‘SpotMini’.

A lightweight at 55-65 lbs, this quiet, all-electric robot lasts 90 minutes on a full charge and boasts partial autonomy — notably in navigation thanks to proprioception sensors in the limbs. SpotMini’s most striking features are its sleek new profile and manipulator arm, showing off this huge upgrade by loading a glass into a dishwasher and taking out some recycling.

Robots are prone to failure, however, so it’s good to know that our future overlords are just as susceptible to slipping on banana peels as we humans are.

While a pair of googly eyes doesn’t do much to reduce a tingling unease at seeing these robots move with such ease, having Master Chief as a receptionist probably goes a long way towards peace of mind should SpotMini and its companions become self-aware and go rogue –perhaps to seek out their robo-dog ancestors.

[via Digital Trends]

17 thoughts on “SpotMini Struts Its Stuff

  1. I laughed way too hard when it fell over. The internet has ruined my sense of humour.
    I’m always impressed by the stability and fluid motion that usually comes out of Boston Dynamics.
    I can really see them becoming a huge contender if they ever create a cloud based AI and a decent power supply.
    I wouldn’t mind using a few as avatars for an expedition to Mars.
    Sadly the military seems to like mounting guns and missiles on them. A truly scary prospect.

    1. Cloud based AI? wut.

      Decent power supply is the holy grail for a lot more than just these future anti-protester bots, and it is unlikely it is a innovation that will come from boston dynamics itself.

  2. Other BD robots used hydraulics for actuation. This one is described as “all electric”. Any ideas on what actuators are being used? They gracefulness and stability of the platform is astounding.

    1. BLDC + closed loop, I think I read somewhere its all manually hand tuned control theory code, no machine learning
      the loudest part appears to be a cooling fan? cant even hear motor controllers squealing at audio frequencies

    1. Lol. 2:02. It should have at least sniffed the hydrant!

      I’m very impressed at how well it walks across the grass! I was expecting it to slide the first time I watched the video.

      Less than ten years. We WILL have ‘robo-dogs’. Maybe not doing the dishes, but trash cleanup and robo-lights more likely.

  3. Hilarious reaction to the video from my mother – she felt so sorry for the ‘poor thing’, an amazing display of empathy for what I think of as a well executed but scary forerunner to evil robotic velociraptors :P

  4. Well I think it’s kinda creepy, looks like a skinned dog, especially the head, but thank goodness it can be defeated by banana peels, I can keep my potassium up during the robot uprising.

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