While a dog can be trained to fetch newspapers or slippers, the SpotMini is programmable in several other ways. For example, it could bring you a can of beer and then take it back to the trash can.
Or at least that's what we imagine happening after watch we watched the presentation video. The robot weighs only 65 pounds, is powered by batteries and can be equipped with various mechanical arms... where the head should be.
The early Boston Dynamics robots looked similar to what the US army was looking into. They could go off-road, carry stuff and think for themselves, relatively speaking.
Well, reports indicate that Alphabet is looking to sell the robot-making company, and Toyota is interested. As we all know, the Big T is keen to help old people with household chores and make retirement a little easier. The SpotMini plays into that very well, especially with its household appliance body.
'SpotMini is one of the quietest robots we have ever built, the firm says, due to its electric motors. It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance," says Boston Dynamics.
Do we need a house robot that can pick up a wine glass or one that can get up after tripping on some bananas? Both and neither in our opinion, but the Japanese will surely disagree.