Attack of the Robot Dogs

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Boston Dynamics' robot dogs pulling a truck down a road

Boston Dynamics' robot dog is straining at the leash. In a new promotional video, a pack of the mechanical canines pull a truck down a road like huskies mushing across the tundra. It's another jaw-dropping demo from one of the world's most ambitious robotics companies.

What’s new: SpotMini, previously seen climbing stairs, opening doors, and twerking to "Uptown Funk," is due to hit the market this year. No price has been announced.

How it works: Although SpotMini can operate autonomously, there's usually a human in the loop. The all-electric robot:

  • Weighs 66 pounds
  • Carries 31 pounds
  • Features a grasping arm, 3D cameras, proprioceptive sensors, and a solid-state gyro
  • Works up to 90 minutes per battery charge

Behind the news: Boston Dynamics’ previous owner, Alphabet, sold the company to SoftBank reportedly because it lacked commercial products. SpotMini will be its first.

Smart take: Robotic control is advancing by leaps and bounds, but there's still a long road ahead. Machines this cool could inspire machine learning engineers to take it to the next level.


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