Boston Dynamics' updated SpotMini can open doors with a creepy back appendage

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 11 replies
Feb 15, 2018
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  1. It’s like a scene out of the Black Mirror episode Metalhead. The robopocalypse has occurred and our hero is hiding in a closet since he knows the dog-like robots have no hands to open the door. Peeking through the slats, he sees the two dogs that were chasing him step aside as a third one steps into view.

    An armlike appendage with a claw for a hand springs forth from the third dog's back. It reaches for the handle on the closet door and opens it for the two canines which pounce into action, bludgeoning our hero to death with their club-like paws.

    Except this is not a movie. It’s Boston Dynamics’ newest update to SpotMini (well maybe not the bludgeoning part).

    Last November we showed you a teaser of the “almost cute” SpotMini which sported a stylish yellow paint job and ditched the skeletal-looking head/arm protruding from the back on the original version.

    Well, the arm is back. While the "improved" SpotMini still looks mostly the same as the cute one, it has a creepy multijointed appendage on its back with a claw for gripping. At least the gripper doesn’t look like a dog skull this time.

    The scariest part is the robodog’s AI has been patched to open doors not only for itself but to hold open doors for his buddies. Sure, they can't blast you with tracking shrapnel (yet), but still, all they need is a dog that knows how to pick locks and nobody will be safe when they decide to take over and rip our faces off.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,954   +1,404

    There is only one legitimate use for robots built to interact with the world like humans do: working in hazardous environments and situations where the risk to humans is high. Anything else is pure job elimination.
  3. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Addict Posts: 198   +118

    All I need to know: how many rounds from my .50 Cal Desert Eagle will it take to stop one of these things?
    john Boylan, MirekFe and Boilerhog146 like this.
  4. LiptonSun

    LiptonSun TS Rookie

    This was the best comment I did not see coming. I busted out laughing. Thank you.
  5. Zordon

    Zordon TS Rookie

    Reminds me of an episode from Black Mirror called 'Metalhead'
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  6. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,491   +46

    Most episodes in "black mirror" are awesome. Believe it or not these replaced the old EOD robots in the Army. I've seen one in Afganistan. Much more equipment though. Cameras and other censors
  7. Solar Flair

    Solar Flair TS Enthusiast Posts: 25   +24

    This doesn't sound that bad. I would rather face a robot dog that open doors instead of blowing up doors...
  8. regiq

    regiq TS Member Posts: 60   +16

    That's why we need to tax robotized work
  9. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 760   +196

    You must not have scrolled far enough down to read the article. I referenced Metalhead in the very first sentence. :)
    Boilerhog146 and senketsu like this.
  10. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Evangelist Posts: 566   +191

    I was thinking the exact same thing... how many blasts from the pump action 12 gauge, will it take to knock one of them over?
    Solar Flair likes this.
  11. Michiel

    Michiel TS Member

    That only works if you first pay the robots a salary.
  12. regiq

    regiq TS Member Posts: 60   +16

    Michiel likes this.

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