Meet SpotMini: The new robotic ‘dog-dinosaur’ from Boston Dynamics

The SpotMini, which can use its extendable 'neck' to do things like load the dishwasher
The SpotMini, which can use its extendable ‘neck’ to do things like load the dishwasher

Meet the latest robot from Boston Dynamics, the SpotMini — which resembles something between a dog and a dinosaur with an extendable neck to pick things up..

The SpotMini is a smaller version of the group’s Spot robot and can do an assortment of interesting tasks — like crawl under tables and put trash in the bin.

Other skills shown in the video include walking sideways, climbing stairs, and putting dirty glasses in the dish-washer.

At one point the robot also demonstrates its ability to get back up — after slipping on a banana skin.

To start with the robot resembles a dog in the way it walks and skulks around Boston Dymanics’ office and test-bed ‘home’.

But its extendable neck and head make it look like some sort of miniature dinosaur.

But it’s the practicality of the neck and head which is most important — as the robot can use it to pick things up and to pick itself back up again if it’s knocked down.

The SpotMini, which can run as well as walk, is one of Boston Dynamics’ quietest robots, and works by combining a string of different sensors with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to measure what’s happening to it at any given moment.

Some of the things it does are autonomous, but some of the more complicated tasks need a human to tell it what to do.

The robot weighs 65lbs (55lbs without the ‘arm’) and once charged can run about for about an hour and a half before it needs to be pumped up again.

But the question is, can it play fetch?

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