We've come a long way since Sega's Poo-Chi robotic toy dog of the early aughts.
Case in point? A video that can only be described as "dog-eat-robo-dog."
Titled "Fido vs. Spot," the YouTube video features a (very animal-friendly, very safe) brawl between what appears to be a tiny terrier and a quadruped droid (for viewers at home: Spot is the AI robot, and Fido is, well, Fido — just kidding, his name is Alex).
According to the vid description, the bot is the work of Google's Boston Dynamics group, and the only quadruped "outside of the military."
This isn't the first time we've covered work created by Boston Dynamics: only last August, the Google-owned company unleashed a bipedal humanoid robot named Atlas into the wild, with hopes that it will one day be used for military missions. Presumably, its latest quadruped model, like Atlas, will also be used to clear uneven topography and rough terrain for assignments that might be too dangerous for human soldiers.
According to its website, Boston Dynamics "builds advanced robots with remarkable behavior: mobility, agility, dexterity and speed" with "sensor-based controls and computation to unlock the capabilities of complex mechanisms."
As the Verge pointed out, Alex's owner is none other than Andy Rubin, the founder of Android and a former top dog (pun intended, no apologies) of the robotics program at Google. Definitely a good choice when it comes to pairing a canine with Spot — you'd want one that's a little hipper with robots than the average example of man's best friend.
Watch a real dog try to take down a robotic dog in the video clip below.
Photo: Steve Jurvetson | Flickr