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Fetch, Fido! Boston Dynamics SpotMini Can Do Your Household Chores And Will Slip On Banana Peel Too (Video)

24 June 2016, 7:14 am EDT By Quinten Plummer Tech Times
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Boston Dynamics' Spot now has a smaller, way more compact sibling. Meet SpotMini, the robotic dog that can pull its own weight around the house.  ( Boston Dynamics )

The latest bot to come bounding out the doors of Google-owned robotics firm Boston Dynamics can load the dishwasher, sort the recycling, fetch items and pal around with its large 160-pound litter mate. But beware, SpotMini's bite may make up for the absence of its bark.

Unveiled on Thursday, SpotMini is the newest member of Boston Dynamics' family of robots that many people still find unsettling.

SpotMini is a smaller, more compact version of the Spot robot the company showed off a year ago. While the Spot weighs in at 160 pounds, the SpotMini tips the scale at 65 pounds when weighed down by the additional load of its 10-pound arm.

"SpotMini is one of the quietest robots we have ever built," the company says.

Boston Dynamics was able to achieve SpotMini's compact build and quite the bot's ambient noise by ditching the hydraulics in favor of pure electric power. The robot can run up to an hour and a half on a single charge, plenty of time to do some housework before snuggling up to a power station.

"It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs," says Boston Dynamics. "These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance."

In its YouTube unveil, SpotMini can be seen ducking under obstacles and using its robotic hand to sort dishes and recycling. Its arm can also maintain its position as the body shifts and contorts, making SpotMini great at twerking and shaking what its builders gave it.

While the robot's use of its arm may be interesting enough, it just wouldn't be a Boston Dynamics video without a bit of about abuse.

In the video, someone just happened to leave a pile of bananas on the floor in front of SpotMini's path — it happens. The seemingly oblivious SpotMini attempts to prance through the pile of bananas but fell flat in heap on the floor.

The video concludes with a bit of tug-of-war between SpotMini and a human, and it appears the robot finally decided to stand up for itself, leaving the human darting out of the room.

While SpotMini isn't up for mass market distribution, consumers can actually purchase the robot. However, they'll need to purchase the rest of the company too, as Google is believed to be prepping Boston Dynamics for sale.

See SpotMini run, trot and tackle chores in the video below:

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