The company posted a new video showing its SpotMini opening a door with the help of a mechanical claw.
Doors won’t stop this bot. On Monday, Boston Dynamics showed off the latest evolution of its upcoming robot dog, the SpotMini, which can actually open doors.
The base version of the SpotMini is a four-legged bot that trots around like a canine. But in a new YouTube clip, Boston Dynamics also demonstrated that the robot can be upgraded with a mechanical arm.
The arm itself rests on top of the SpotMini, and functions more like a pincer claw. In the 45-second clip, the robot manages to approach a door, grab the handle, and successfully turn it.
However, the bot doesn’t swing the door wide open at first. The SpotMini actually places a robot leg in the doorway to keep it partly open. That same mechanical arm then reaches behind the door, before pulling it all the way back.
Making the video even more amusing is why the robot is opening the door. The bot is actually doing so to help another SpotMini —built with no arm— pass through. The robot holds the door open, letting its sibling enter first, before trotting through the doorway itself.
Unfortunately, the short video doesn’t mention anything else, like when the SpotMini will be available. For now, Boston Dynamics has only been teasing out details to the robot, which it says will operate in offices, homes and outdoor settings.
The SpotMini model is designed to be battery-powered and has a starting weight at 55 pounds. (The arm-equipped version adds another 11 pounds.) Boston Dynamics says the bot can run for about 90 minutes on one charge.
The company’s earlier preview of the upcoming bot showed that it now comes fitted in a yellow casing. Earlier prototypes of the SpotMini also sported a robot arm that could place a glass cup in a dishwater, dump trash in wastebin, and fetch a soda can for a human like a dog might.