This New Quadruped Could Challenge Boston Dynamics' Door-Opening Robot

This upgraded 'Anymal' quadruped opens doors just like its competitor at Boston Dynamics, Spot Mini.
Shelby Rogers

Boston Dynamics' robo-dog Spot Mini captured the public's attention by being both adorable and slightly terrifying while opening doors for other robots. But Spot Mini is no longer the only quadruped catching people's eye. 

Meet Anymal, the quadruped coming from the Robotic Systems Lab at ETH Zurich university in Switzerland. The roboticists just posted a progress update on Anymal and its articulated movement on Friday. 

Anymal's newest articulation system update allows it to also open doors with the same relative ease as the Spot Mini. While it's not quite as graceful as Spot Mini, it opens the door with just as much care as the Boston Dynamics' robot. Anymal even throws away litter into a nearby rubbish bin.

This is thanks to the new articulated arm called ALMA -- Articulated Locomotion and Manipulation for a Torque-Controllable Robot. 

"The online motion planning framework, together with a whole-body control based on a hierarchical optimization algorithm, enable the system to walk, trot and pace while executing tasks such as fixed-position end-effector control, reactive human-robot collaboration and torso posture optimization to increase the arm’s kinematic reachability," the lab explained on the YouTube video.

"The torque controllability of the whole system enables the implementation of compliant behavior, allowing a user to safely interact with the robot in a very natural way," the lab continued. 

The robot is the result of a spinoff project from the Robotic Systems Lab called Anybotics. Anybotics wants to use Anymal for industrial inspections and other services that could benefit from the precision of a robot like mapping, surveillance, and first response scenarios.

This New Quadruped Could Challenge Boston Dynamics' Door-Opening Robot 

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