On Thursday, Boston Dynamics released a demo video of it newest robot, the SpotMini. The robot — part dog, part dinosaur, part terminator — is a follow-up to the company’s earlier model, Spot. The newer edition, as its name implies, is smaller than its forebeast, weighing in at 65 pounds and with a battery that lasts an hour and a half before it runs out of juice. It’s got a number of interesting features, but it’s also somewhat, um, terrifying to watch. (Wall-E did not prepare me for the scary robots.)
The dog/giraffe/dinosaur robot is programmed to load a dishwasher, move trash from the kitchen counter to a bin, and can deftly wander your house. It can also be programmed to bring you a specific object. SpotMini understands how to get back up after a fall, as shown in the demo, when the robot recovers from a cartoonesque slip on several banana peels. (Though, if your home frequently has rogue banana peels lying around, you probably need a robot that is programmed to pick those up before slipping on them.)
Maybe the next Spot edition will be able to to turn my television on anytime a Kardashian graces the screen. Or break free from its lab and go on a joyride like this little guy in Russia. Or even resemble a dog. Only time, and Google, will tell.