One of Google’s robotics companies Boston Dynamics has announced a new addition to their robotic family called the “SpotMini.”
Previous Boston Dynamics creations have impressed many while creeping them out all at the same time, for their uncanny abilities to be robust and accurately mimic movement from biological life.
The SpotMini is a smaller version of their other canine-modeled creation simply called “Spot,” with a giraffe-like neck for a better reach.
The difference between this robot compared to their other ones is that rather than using hydraulic technology, they’ve been able to scale down to electric servos, resulting in a robot that goes from 50 to 65 pounds.
“Spot” was originally introduced in February of 2015.
The video clearly shows how the robot is able to function in a normal setting and during accidents, and even shows a better looking version at the end that doesn’t look so much like a prototype.
In October of 2015, Google reorganized their company to be run by former Google starters and to be one of many companies under the Alphabet Inc. conglomerate.
Two years before that, the company Boston Dynamics would be bought for $500 million by formerly named Google X — now known simply as X, a semi-secret division of Google — as part of a group of 14 other companies in order to conduct research (Google will be referred to as the owners for this article).
It was also reported at one point in March that Amazon was also an interested party in obtaining the company.
In 2013 when Boston Dynamics was in a transitional period between owners, The Guardian wrote a piece about the company and what could be behind Google’s interest in robot research, which refers to the robotics company’s background in making robots for the military.
At the time, Google said they would honor the $10.5 billion dollar contract the company had with DARPA, the U.S. Defense Department’s technology research organization.
The SpotMini demonstration clearly shows the robot’s ability to detect surrounding objects and has the ability to adjust around them.
Gizmodo provides a few more details on the robot “baby giraffe” such as the fact that its battery lasts for 90 minutes if the robot is walking around the house quietly, which is still considered unsatisfactory for the use in a home.
There is no information suggesting that the company is looking to put these in homes anytime soon, and while Google is in talks to sell Boston Dynamics, there is neither any indication as to what direction a new owner will want to take with the company’s achievements, whether for the home or other internal use.
[image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]