This video is a must see. In it a dog-like robot opens a door. Also check out the second video below where a similar robot slips on a banana peel, puts away dishes and fetches a beer. This is the SpotMini by robot maker Boston Dynamics.
Robot maker Boston Dynamics, now owned by Japanese telecom and tech giant SoftBank, just published a short YouTube clip featuring a new, more advanced version of its SpotMini robot. SpotMini, first unveiled in June 2016, started out as a giraffe-looking chore bot that was pretty terrible at performing tasks around the house, and, in one short clip, hilariously ate it on a cluster of banana peels like a character straight out of a slapstick cartoon.
SpotMini is a new smaller version of the Spot robot, weighing 55 lbs dripping wet (65 pounds if you include its arm.)
SpotMini is all-electric (no hydraulics) and runs for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance.
The new SpotMini looks much more polished and less grotesque, like a real-life cross between a Pixar animation and a robot out of a Neill Blomkamp vision of the future, thanks in part to series of bright yellow plates covering its legs and body. The new bot’s movement also looks incredibly fluid. It shows just how much progress Boston Dynamics is making on its goal of life-like, animal-inspired robots that can move and respond to the forces in the real world.
What happens when a real dog meets a robot dog?
Can you imagine human versions? Watching this, you can start to understand why Artificial Intelligence is viewed by some as a top threat to humanity. The robot apocalypse really takes off when machines start designing and improving themselves, taking on features of different animals as needed.