When the future robot overlords rise up, they will need pets to do their bidding. Perhaps this is where Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robots come in. SpotMini robots look sort of like dogs and can dance, fetch you a beer and even walk up/down stairs. We've seen one twerking its shiny metal butt to Uptown Funk in the past. One significant upside to the robot dogs, compared to real dogs, is that they can walk themselves thanks to an autonomous navigation update last May. SpotMini has also proven unbothered by harassment from its human handlers.
The latest video from Boston Dynamics shows a SpotMini and nine of its pals teaming up to tow a box truck. Boston Dynamics says that the truck was towed across its parking lot, which has about a 1-degree uphill incline, with the truck in neutral.
If you are wondering why the company is sitting on a stockpile of ten SpotMini robots, the video description notes that the robot is coming off the production line now and will be available for a range of applications soon. Presumably, the applications will be research related for the most part.
The Spot Mini robot stands 0.84-meters high, weighs 30 kg, and can haul a 14 kg payload. It runs on battery power and has electric actuation along with a 3D vision system. The robot has 17 joints to allow fluid dancing and stalking of people who only want a new stuffed animal Black Mirror-style.
The contraption that looks like a head is a robot arm that has 5-degree-of-freedom and perception sensors. Sensors integrated into the SpotMini robot include stereo cameras, depth cameras, an IMU, and position/force sensors in the limbs. Boston Dynamics says that those sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation.