Boston Dynamics is still hard at work on making its wild, awe-inspiring and sometimes creepy robots that can perform impressive physical feats.
The Waltham-based company, which Google sold to SoftBank earlier this year, uploaded a new video to YouTube Monday afternoon that shows a new, slicker version of SpotMini, its small dog-like robot that was last seen fetching a cold one for an employee and having an unfortunate fall after slipping on a banana peel.
The new version of the SpotMini swaps out the crude metal exterior and the crane-neck of the original for a smooth, yellow exterior that would fit right in with the settings of a video game or anime film. In the company’s new 24-second video, the new robot trots over to the camera and kneels towards it in a seemingly playful way before it trots off again. “For more information… stay tuned,” the video’s description teases.
The original SpotMini that debuted in a video last year “inherits all of the mobility of its bigger brother, Spot, while adding the ability to pick up and handle objects using its 5 degree-of-freedom arm and beefed up perception sensors,” according to a Boston Dynamics web page. The robot “comfortably fits in an office or home.”
After Google acquired Boston Dynamics in 2013, the internet giant concluded a few years later that the robotics company wasn’t likely “to produce a marketable product in the next few years,” according to a report by Bloomberg in 2016. That prompted Google to put Boston Dynamics on the market, which ultimately led to the company’s sale to SoftBank in June.
“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities. Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots,” Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement at the time.