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SpotMini robots that help one another out

February 12, 2018.

SpotMini 2017.

SpotMini. © Boston Dynamics.

Boston Dynamics has posted a video on Youtube depicting an interaction between two SpotMinis, those agile and graceful four-legged robots. The video, entitled, “Hey buddy, can you give me a hand,” shows a SpotMini heading towards a closed door and seeming vexed at not being able to open it. Then, another SpotMini shows up to lend a hand —it has a robotic arm on its back. The arm unfolds, grabs the handle, opens the door and keeps it open while his buddy passes through. The video provokes a wide range of comments which, surprisingly, contrast wildly. In one corner: “Oh, wicked”, “Super”, “Cool”, “Amazing”, “Impressive”, “Fantastic”, “Too cute”, “Adorable”, and in the opposite corner: “Scary”, “Nightmarish”, “Technology terrorizes me”, “Welcome to our new overlords”, “We’re doomed”, “Oh no! They’ve learned to open doors! They’re the raptors from Jurassic Park!”, “It really scares me”, “God helps us….”. Which side are you on? Around here, we’re in the camp that thinks it’s cool, and we’d definitely like to have a SpotMini roaming around the halls at the office. Many people are also drawing a parallel with the Metalhead episode from the Black Mirror TV series. That actually isn’t a coincidence, as Charlie Booker, who wrote the episode, was inspired by Boston Dynamics robots as he developed the plot.

CNET, “That terrifying Boston Dynamics robot dog can open doors now.”