This is SpotMini, a brand-new, smaller version of the Spot robot developed by robotics company Boston Dynamics. It is a surprisingly agile and lifelike robot, able to maneuver (relatively) silently around people, up stairs, and in the kitchen. Complete with a giraffe-like neck and googly-eyed face, I can’t decide if SpotMini is cute or disturbing or amazing. It’s probably all three.
The agility of SpotMini’s larger brothers was already impressive, but somehow the same feats look even smoother and coordinated at this scale. SpotMini is light enough to lift — 55 pounds without the arm/head/neck/hand thing, 65 pounds with it — and this allows it to run deftly up stairs and under tables.
Oh and the robot can do your dishes. Using a combination of autonomy, human control, depth cameras, gyroscopes, and proprioception sensors, SpotMini can precisely control the position and grip of its head/face/neck/arm/hand. It’s dexterous enough to throw away trash and put glasses in the dishwasher. The neck/face/head/mouth/hand/arm also comes in handy when the robot slips on conveniently placed banana peels.
SpotMini is fully electric, and can romp around a fake house for around 90 minutes before it must go back to its robo-kennel/savanna for more juice. It’s the Tesla of giant-eyed robot dogs with collapsible neck/face/arm/hand/mouth/grippers.
What do you think? Would you like something like SpotMini roaming around your house, grabbing the remote control for you and hopefully not going for your neck in your sleep? Let us know in the comments below.
Images: Boston Dynamics