Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini Captivates Robotics Community With AI Capabilities

Leader in some of the most innovative bipedal and quadruped robotics, Boston Dynamics has released a new video demonstrating the surprisingly canine characteristics of its SpotMini dog-bot.

A little less than two years ago, the company demoed the amazing capabilities of their quadruped robots. Generating more than 10 million views, the video demonstrated their robots following one other, crouching as it crawled underneath a table, using a bionic arm on the back to reposition itself after slipping on a banana, putting away dishes, discarding garbage in a waste basket and eventually bringing its owner a beer.

Their most recent demonstration of SpotMini’s capabilities is no less impressive. In the short clip the yellow robot walks in a stride unmistakably canine and finds itself confronted with a closed door barrier. Within moments another yellow SpotMini, this one equipped with an additional arm on its back arrives.

After inspecting the door, the second SpotMini uses its bionic arm to operate the door handle, opening the door and with politeness not often seen in non-robots, allows the first robot to pass through, before continuing to the other side itself and then closing the door that it had opened.

Boston Dynamics originated as a robotics project started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The organization has expanded the scope of its original efforts to create animal maneuverability in robot applications. Today, Boston Dynamics implements Artificial Intelligence, and mechanical principles supporting the latest applications of dynamic control and balance.

The company’s robots have been recognized for their amazingly realistic mimicry of human-like perception and animal motion.

Purchased by Softbank for $100 million from its parent company Alphabet, Inc., part of the Google family of companies, Boston Dynamics has continued its vision, earning it a global reputation as the leader in bipedal and quadrupedal robotic applications.

SpotMini is a smaller version of Boston Dynamics’ Spot, a four-legged robot engineered to function in indoor and outdoor applications.

Spot’s hydraulically enabled motion is supported by an electrically powered system and is capable of interpreting environmental data using on-board sensors a stereo vision system and LIDAR.

The robot is capable of carrying 23 kilograms of payload and operating for 3/4 of an hour on its battery power supply.

Spot is designed as part of a collaborative research between Boston Dynamics and DARPA.