Boston Dynamics created a complex robot dog, set it up with the latest technologies, and set traps from banana peels left on the floor.
The creation is called MiniSpot and is a smaller version of Spot, the other robot dog that was violently kicked off and had to pick itself later from the floor. Spot had mechanical arms and hands which it used to collect his body and raise again in vertical position.
The Small Robot Dog
The company’s newest version had been put to an equally violent test: falling over banana peels. The robot dog falls as everyone might presume it should, but it immediately goes back to its initial posture.
Just after the performance, the energetic robot climbs a staircase rapidly. Afterward, it loads a dishwasher and takes the garbage out.
The robot dog weighs 65 lbs, and it runs on electricity only. One charge lasts 90 minutes, and just like everything else the battery will last less if it has to do more complex activities. MiniSpot is also very quiet. It is equipped with a high variety of sensors, and it can perform tasks independently. However, it still needs human guidance for more complicated tasks.
The World of Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics is a company specialized in building advanced robots with remarkable skills: mobility, dexterity, agility, and speed. The engineers use computation and sensor-based controls to enhance the abilities of complex mechanisms.
The company has contracts with the US Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, but also with corporations such as Sony.
Their robots models include LS3, Atlas, Petman, Cheetah, BigDog, SandFlea, RHex, RiSE, and Little Dog. Atlas, the anthropomorphic robot, may be the most famous of them all as it appeared in press associated with the recent Google acquisition of the company.
The others have much more impressive powers. RiSE is a climbing robot that can make Spiderman envious. Cheetah is the fastest robot ever designed, with a maximum record of 29 mph which surpassed the previous 13 mph record set in 1989 at MIT. SandFlea has the special power to jump 30 ft into the air in order to avoid obstacles.
The new technical successes are presented in a funnier manner because the reaction received by Atlas was not quite as favorable as the company expected. Aside from their extraordinary mechanics, the Boston Dynamics robots have the capacity to go in places that would be too dangerous for humans.
Image Source: Flickr