Google owned robotics developer Boston Dynamics unveiled its latest creation at TED2017 in Vancouver, Canada, when SpotMini, an electronic quadruped robot shaped like a dog, trotted onstage and stood alongside Marc Raibert, the company’s founder.
According to Raibert, Boston Dynamics aims to achieve balance, dexterity and perception with all its robots. To demonstrate these qualities, SpotMini was put through its paces onstage, showing off its omnidirectional gait after it was kicked, as well as its ability to move sideways, run in place and hop back and forth. SpotMini also delivered a can of soda to Raibert on command, demonstrating its potential for the delivery sector.
According to The Telegraph, Raibert explained how the company had been using the robot to perform home deliveries, with packages strapped to its back.
“We’ve been taking our robot to employees’ homes to see whether we could get in the various access ways,” said Raibert. We’re doing very well, about 70% of the way.”
Alongside SpotMini, Boston Dynamics has also developed a whole raft of robots suited to conquering specific tasks. This includes BigDog, a multi-terrain robot that runs with a galloping gait; AlphaDog, a large robot that can walk through 10in of snow; Spot, a bigger version of SpotMini; Atlas, a humanoid robot that walks upright and uses its hands to handle packages; and Handle, a wheeled robot that can lift 100 lb packages.
To view a video of SpotMini in Boston Dynamics’ test facility, click here.
Screenshot: copyright of Boston Dynamics
April 28, 2017