Their newest robot, the SpotMini, is a not-too-human biped, but rather a quadruped… with a giraffe’s neck that has a head that doubles as a hand.
The SpotMini, as the name suggests, is a smaller version of their Spot robot that we first saw in February of 2015.
Where Spot weighed 160 pounds (72 kilograms), SpotMini comes in at only 55 pounds (24,9 kilograms), or 65 pounds (29,4 kilograms)if you include the “arm”.
What Boston Dynamics refers to as an “arm” is an extendable appendage that is precise enough to handle glass. That’s all well and good, and we’re up for it putting away the washing and throwing out the trash like in the video, but who decided it was a good idea to give the “hand” a visage that seems to include an eye?
Despite the creepiness, SpotMini is really impressive. Inside of that chassis you’ll find an all-electric system that will run “for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing”.
Its sensors include depth cameras, a solid state gyro and “proprioception” sensors in the limbs. Those oddly-named sensors help SpotMini get around, but it seems it didn’t help it not slip on a pile of banana peels. No matter how smart the people at Boston Dymanics are, it seems they didn’t take cartoon tropes into account.
Looking past that slip on the peels, this video was devoid of the usual robot-bashing that accompanies it. If you’re the kind of sick individual who likes to see that stuff, Boston Dynamics gave their Atlas a thorough beating.