Human vs. Boston Dynamics SpotMini: 1-0 For Robot's Persistence


Robotics company Boston Dynamics has released a new video that features its dog-like SpotMini robot. The company last released a video of its robotic creation on Feb.12, which was cute but rather unsettling.

The last video showed two headless Spot Mini robots, one walking up to a door and getting assisted by the second one, which had an extended arm, to open a portal. The video made everyone marvel at the creation and also tremble thinking about the future of humans amid such robots.

The new video, released on Feb. 20, however, shows that humans are, at least, still the boss. Titled Testing Robustness, the video shows a man with a hockey stick along with the SpotMini. The footage has got drama, action, and triumph.

The Man vs. The Machine

In the video, one can see that all the robot wants to do is open the door and pass through. However, the man uses a hockey stick to push it around. He also pulls the SpotMini backward with a leash attached to the robot's posterior. In fact, the robot dog's butt plate even falls off. The artificial creature, however, still manages to be successful in its mission.

Once adjusted to the rough way in which the SpotMini was treated, a person will be impressed to see how quickly the robot bounced back to its feet and adjusted to handle the situation. The company also explained that the experiment did not harm or irritate the robot.

"A camera in the hand finds the door handle, cameras on the body determine if the door is open or closed and help navigate through the doorway," Boston Dynamics stated to explain how the robot works. "Controllers provide locomotion, balance and adjust behavior when progress gets off track. The ability to tolerate and respond to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot."

The company has also stated that the robot proceeds autonomously after having being given the "GO" command, both at the start of the video and later at the 42-second mark into it.

Though one can't be too sure how autonomous the robot is because a person could still be maneuvering it from far, but it is still quite a feat. Built Robotics CEO, Noah Ready-Campbell, thinks it could do all the actions by itself.

 "I think it probably is, because actually teleoperating a robot to behave that way is pretty challenging," said Ready-Campbell. "It's extremely impressive, no doubt."

Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics is U.S. robotics design and engineering company that is most famous for building a quadrupled robot called the BigDog, which was created for the nation's military, and DI-Guy, which is a software for a realistic human simulation.

The company is known for giving people the leeway to push its robots around. It had released a video in 2015 that showed a larger Spot robot with four legs.

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