Boston Dynamics is known for its bulky, noisy robots that are designed to operate outdoors. Like the next-gen Atlas humanoid, for example.
Now the company has used its engineering prowess to build its smallest and quietest robot yet, SpotMini, which can help you with household chores and fetch you a drink.
It can navigate around your home, run up stairs, shimmy under tables, contort its body, and get back up after a fall – and we know robots love to fall.
But the most impressive thing you’ll see in the video above it SpotMini’s ability to help you with household chores. You’ll see SpotMini use its robot arm to load the dishwasher, throw away trash, and even bring its owner a drink.
SpotMini is based off Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot dog that weighed 160 pounds. SpotMini weighs 55 lbs – 65 lbs when you attach the articulating arm to its back – and is much quieter than Spot as it ditched the hydraulics for electric power that allows it to run around for 90 minutes on a single charge.
SpotMini has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation.
Here’s the catch. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously – Boston Dynamics didn’t specify what tasks – but it often requires a human for “high-level guidance.” So we’re not quite there yet when it comes to our robot helpers around the house, but SpotMini is quite impressive nonetheless.