After you: Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robot now opens doors for its friends
Readers familiar with the latest season of Netflix series Black Mirror, in which a four-legged robot mercilessly seeks out and destroys our human protagonists, may want to look away now. Readers that are not may still want to look away now. It appears a secure door is no match for the fast-evolving SpotMini from Boston Dynamics.
Boston Dynamics, a subsidiary of Japanese firm SoftBank, first revealed its quadruped SpotMini robot in 2016, and then showed off a sleeker updated version last November. The all-electric droid stands 84 cm (2.8 ft) tall, features canine-like mechanics and a five-degree of freedom manipulator arm that takes its cues from a sensor suite. Among these sensors are stereo cameras, depth cameras, an inertial measurement unit and position and force sensors in its limbs.
The reveal of the restyled SpotMini back in November showed the robot trotting up to the camera, peering creepily down the lens, and then trotting away. The latest video shared by BostonDynamics gives a much clearer, and kind of scary, picture of what this thing is capable of.
One SpotMini walks up to a closed door, seems defeated by the obstacle and then waits for another SpotMini equipped with a manipulator arm to turn up. SpotMini number two promptly extends its arm out, turns the handle and then courteously holds the door open for both to move on through. Check it out below (the current whereabouts of the robots remains unknown).