If Tim Burton made a robot, this would be it

Boston Dynamics' newest robot, SpotMini, is quiet, small, and scary

With customers like the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, Boston Dynamics doesn't go out of its way to build friendly-looking robots. But its newest creation, SpotMini, is even creepier than the others. It looks like some sort of dog/giraffe hybrid, but unlike either of those, it's definitely not cute.

SpotMini is a smaller version of the company's Spot robot. It weighs 55 lbs (65 lbs if you add the arm). Unlike its hydraulics-powered predecessors, SpotMini is all-electric, which makes it a lot quieter. According to Boston Dynamics, the robot can go for 90 minutes on one charge, depending on what it's doing.

SpotMini has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU), and sensors in the limbs to help with navigation. In a video posted on Youtube Thursday, the robot walks around a mock home and does chores like putting dirty glasses in the dishwasher and recycling a tin can (good boy, Spot!) In one scene, the robot even serves as a butler, handing a drink to its master, though not very gracefully.

It's not clear why Boston Dynamics showed SpotMini in a home environment, since most of its products are designed for military use. The company is owned by Google, which recently put Boston Dynamics up for sale. Maybe it's looking around for new markets -- haunted house, anyone?

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags robots

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Magdalena Petrova

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?