There’s nothing quite like watching a sleek and clever robot dog helping a fellow robot pupper to distract you from any Monday-related concerns.
In this latest amazing video from Boston Dynamics, when one SpotMini robot approaches a door and sees that it’s closed, they call over a second SpotMini, this one equipped with a special hand attachment. That robot uses their hand along with the rest of their body to smoothly open the door, hold to open to let their friend walk through, and then keep it open while walking through themselves:
If you want to see more robot doggo awesomeness, watch as a Boston Dynamics engineer tests SpotMini’s ability to open and walk through the same door while being impeded in various ways.
A person (not shown) drives the robot up to the door, points the hand at the door handle, then gives the ‘GO’ command, both at the beginning of the video and again at 42 seconds. The robot proceeds autonomously from these points on, without help from a person. A camera in the hand finds the door handle, cameras on the body determine if the door is open or closed and navigate through the doorway. Software provides locomotion, balance and adjusts behavior when progress gets off track. The ability to tolerate and respond automatically to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot. (Note: This testing does not irritate or harm the robot.)
If I can’t have a real-life Chappie friend yet, perhaps I can still aspire to one day have a robot doggo friend.