In Depth

Video: the robotic dog that can open doors

Boston Dynamics’ updated SpotMini is smarter than ever

US-based tech firm Boston Dynamics wowed the world when it debuted its SpotMini robot in 2016 - and now the dog-like bot is showing off its latest party trick.

In a newly released video, an updated version of the SpotMini can be seen approaching a door and extending its head-mounted gripping claw to open a door. It then holds the door open using its arm and legs for another robo-dog to walk through, before passing through itself. 

The footage only offers a small preview of what the robot is capable of, says TechCrunch, and it is not known whether the machine is controlled autonomously or by a someone with a remote. 

Previous videos of Boston Dynamics’s four-legged robots revealed 3D cameras being used for navigation, the website says, which hints at “the possibility of an advanced autonomous control system”.

Either way, says Wired, “it’s a pretty incredible feat” and shows that tech companies are developing increasingly sophisticated “robots that get along with a world built by and for humans”.

“A giant robo-dog that helps out around the house sounds like a dream come true,” says Gizmodo - although the bot “will probably let all of its little robo-friends in so they can hang out and plot humanity’s demise”.

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