If you haven't already seen it, Boston Dynamics has taught their Spot Mini robot how to open doors. It's fascinating and terrifying all at once.
The dog-like robot is able to walk on four legs and has an extendable arm to reach out and grab objects. In the case of its latest trick, its arm reaches out pulls a door handle and then maneuvers its body to hold the door open so it can pass through. It really is very impressive.
The Spot Mini weighs just 25 kg (30 kg if you include the arm) and can run on its all-electric power system for about 90 minutes before needing a recharge. Boston Dynamics claims it is the quietest robot they have built. The video of Spot Mini opening the doors follows a long line of creepy videos released by the robotics company including robots doing backflips and the infamous robot abuse videos.
Boston Dynamic sprung from MIT in the early 1990s and for over two decades they have been leaders in the robotics industry. They were acquired by Google in 2013 and sold last year to Japan's SoftBank Group for an undisclosed sum.
As usual, the Twittersphere has the last laugh about emerging technologies. Here is a collection of the funniest responses to this latest robot advancement.
Don't worry guys, I got this pic.twitter.com/RLXpM4VpZp— Fint (@FintanC84) February 12, 2018
Cats can do it faster pic.twitter.com/nKNJF532li— Cody McGlone 🌚 (@CodyMcChicken_) February 12, 2018
My response: pic.twitter.com/RV981Xn8tG— JAKE PIERRELEE (@jakobcain) February 13, 2018
Opening a door is one thing but please leave the fridge alone.
The raptor-like hand/mouth of the Spot Mini got someone thinking about this special park.
Jurassic Park wasn't the only movie the door-opening robot reminded us of.
It seems humans aren't the only ones feeling threatened. Watch out pets, the Spot Mini can do more than your average pampered pooch.
But for all the scary memes, some people think a gracious door opening robot might be a nice colleague to have around.
The Spot Mini is already being nominated for President, or Overlord - same thing really.
I for one welcome our door opening robot dog overlords #BostonDynamics— Yokohama Lustpuffin (@Foot_Off) February 13, 2018
The poor old Spot Mini keeps getting compared to unfavorable robots.
Twitter user Per Axbom says that the Black Mirror episode was inspired by Boston Dynamics. Should they take that as a compliment?
Just to be clear, this is what I'm seeing when I see Spot Mini open doors. pic.twitter.com/ArIusP0BSE— Per Axbom (@axbom) February 13, 2018
The ABC is asking the right questions. Boston Dynamics, can you confirm what this arm actually is?
Boston Dynamics show off their latest "Spot Mini".— ABC Science (@ABCscience) February 13, 2018
Question: does the robot open the door with its "hand" or with its "face"? pic.twitter.com/0rMmOJ1d8p
If Spot Mini is really scaring you, the answer is simple. Lock your door. Spot Mini doesn't know how to use a key...yet.
While for us playing along at home, a door opening robot seems mind-blowing, the experts urge us to calm down.
Well, it is yet another example of #AI progress, and we should think about #ethics and get real, but yeah, #aiethics mT @ChrisMelv: Great interview from @j2bryson with @jonsnowC4 on why @BostonDynamics’ robo-dog isn’t an #AI leap forwards https://t.co/eA0sUKoIm9 @UniofBathSci— Joanna J Bryson (@j2bryson) February 14, 2018