Dogs might be man’s best friend, but if this little door-opening, fence-climbing, stairs-navigating mini robot gets any more adorable, well then old Fido might have to make room for a new housemate. Especially because Fido can’t let himself out of the house in the middle of the night when he needs to go.
This cute mechanical guy—called the Ghost Minitaur from Ghost Robotics—is “highly adept at perceiving tactile sensations,” which allows him to traverse otherwise imposing obstacles and terrain. He comes equipped with torque motors, motor controllers, and what they describe as a “specialized leg design,” along with high-speed, high-resolution encoders that let him “see and feel the ground” (even though he looks like a headless skeleton of a dog).
They say that those encoders allow him to adjust to whatever he encounters “faster than the blink of an eye.” In the sample video provided you can see Ghost Minitaur quickly reacting to various impediments, as he climbs his way up a chain link fence, and even opens the handle of a door before pushing it open. (You thinking about Velociraptors right now? Me too.)
And even though we know that this is a highly sophisticated piece of machinery, both impressive for what it already can do but also for what it portends about the future of robotics (think about how helpful something like this would be in an emergency situation, like aiding firefighters in trying to locate people trapped in a fire, or assisting soldiers in a war zone situation) we can’t help but also notice that he just seems like a happy puppy as he goes about his business, bouncing like he’s chasing his owner around for a treat.
Of course, unlike Fido, you won’t actually need to have a treat for him. So even though your dog might not have to give up his spot at the foot of your bed, he might need to share the house with another adorable four-legged little guy.
What other type of obstacle would you like to see this mini robot overcome? What other situations do you think he would prove most useful in? Bounce into the comments below to tell us what you think.
Images: Ghost Robotics