This somewhat disquieting canine robot can handle objects, climbs stairs, and guess what, open doors. Even when a human tries to stop it with a hockey stick.
Meet (if you haven’t already) SpotMini, Boston Dynamic’s four-legged robot that pretty much walks and acts like a dog, only better — depending on how you see it.
Last week, the engineering and robotics company released a video of the dogbot opening a door (using its fifth arm with a claw to grab the handle) and walking through quietly. Now, in the latest chapter of SpotMini’s heroic saga, things get a bit more complicated.
In this new video, a human shows up and tries to stop SpotMini from opening the door in every way he can. The bully blocks SpotMini’s way with a hockey stick, pushes its arm-claw away from the door handle and pulls the leash on its back aggressively. But to the viewer’s surprise (or maybe not) the machine fights back and has its way of taking control of the door.
On their youtube channel, Boston Dynamic describes the video as “a test of SpotMini’s ability to adjust to disturbances” and explains that “the ability to tolerate and respond automatically to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot.” They also note that the testing does not “irritate or harm the robot.”
But is it a good idea to have machines fighting back disturbances if those disturbances are, let us say, human beings?