SpotMini stands two-feet tall and weighs about 55 pounds; add another ten pounds for the creepy arm that has a gripper head/hand at the end. The self-contained robot doesn’t need a tether and can operate for up to 90 minutes on a charge. Boston Dynamics’ last video showed humans abusing a helpless bipedal robot, including knocking it face down onto the floor. SpotMini, however, was shown walking around a house, performing household chores like putting away the dishes and throwing an empty can into the recycle bin.
SpotMini is even cable of quickly ascending a flight of stairs with aplomb, and it even tries pulling off a few dance moves while its head creepily remains absolutely steady in place. Of course, the Boston Dynamics team couldn’t help but to get in one joke at SpotMini’s expense, as the robot takes a tumble after someone “accidentally” left a banana peel on the floor. SpotMini predictably slips and falls, only to right itself with the aid of its extendable arm.
It’s sad to see that Alphabet is trying to offload Boston Dynamics when the company is clearly making some great advances in the field of robotics. SpotMini’s semiautonomous functionality would be a great asset to disabled individuals that need a helping hand at home. Simple tasks such as loading/unloading the dishwasher, fetching a drink or picking up a fallen object could be easily handled by SpotMini.
But perhaps Alphabet is still a little leery of a Skynet takeover of Boston Dynamics. After all, no company wants blood on its hands
when if machines take over and destroy humanity…