The newest robot from Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics weighs just 55 pounds, but it can deliver cans of soda, load a dishwasher, and even dance.
SpotMini — a smaller version of the Spot robot — comes equipped with an arm that makes the dog-like robot look more like a dinosaur. But it also makes the robot highly functional. The arm gives SpotMini the ability to stand itself back up after a spill over some banana peels.
The SpotMini is one of Boston Dynamic’s quietest robots, and it can run with a degree of autonomy for some tasks. Most importantly, for Boston Dynamics, the robot is cute, from its little tug-of-war with a human over soda to its banana peel-induced fall.
The company’s previous robot, a bipedal humanoid called Atlas, was so agile and humanlike that many reporters and commenters thought it was a little eerie. That reaction was enough to make Google’s communications team think about distancing Google X from the team in Boston.
The X spokeswoman worried that people found the robot “terrifying,” in leaked communications published by Bloomberg. Weeks later, Alphabet reportedly put Boston Dynamics up for sale due to its inability to generate revenue in the next few years.
The company’s sophisticated robots are particularly relevant to military interests — less so to commercial ones.
Here’s the video of SpotMini being as minimally terrifying as possible:
Here’s its predecessor, Spot:
And our future robot overlord, Atlas:
As we expected, the secretive Boston Dynamics did not return Inverse’s request for comment.