This Dog-Inspired Robot Just Held the Door For His Robot Friend
When Boston Dynamics uploads another video onto YouTube, one can assume one of two things: it'll be terrifying and make humanity fear for its future, or it'll be absolutely adorable.
This most recent upload from the popular robotics channel was luckily the latter. The company's adorable quadruped SpotMini (which originally debuted last year) is back in this new video and showing off a new skill -- opening doors. The clip opens with the first iteration of the robot unable to get into the next room due to a closed door. Enter the new version of the SpotMini now with an articulated arm and a sizeable clamp.
The video shows the SpotMini find, recognize, and turn a door handle. It not only opens the door, but it maneuvers itself to keep the door propped open for its robotic friend before following suit and letting itself through as well.
Fans of Boston Dynamics will notice that this video is significantly less threatening than one from 2016 which saw the larger, Terminator-style Atlas bipedal robot push its way through a door. (However, some of the comments on the YouTube video still fear robotic overlords and impending doom.)
Boston Dynamics also recently made headlines outside of its robotics work. Last year, Alphabet (Google's parent company) sold the robotics lab to Softbank in Japan. Initially, some were skeptical that the Japanese company couldn't keep up with the rate of Alphabet's work, but if this video is any indication, Softbank seems to be doing just fine in terms of fostering Boston Dynamics's work.
We catch up with one of the team behind the first-of-its-kind air conditioner that uses solid refrigerants.