When Boston Dynamics released a video of its SpotMini robot dog in 2016, it looked like an unsteady and rickety addition to what was becoming an impressive – if not slightly grotesque – roster of robots. The dog rocked into cupboards, took steps like it was striding over a huge puddle one leg at a time and finally met its demise, in the most cartoonish of ways, when confronted with a stray banana peel.
Having now separated from Google and been purchased by the Japanese firm SoftBank, Boston Dynamics has returned with a new version of the SpotMini, which this time moves in a way that resembles the real thing.
Boston Dynamics seems intent on taking a cute idea – "dog" – and iterating it into something as horrific as humanly imaginable. #notagooddoggy
— jonathan jonathan jonathan jonathan jonathan jonat (@jonathanriggall) November 14, 2017
But while it may move like the real thing, even hiding its mechanics inside a cute yellow shell can’t save SpotMini from looking like one of those really hench and terrifying dogs seen in internet clips.
Boston Dynamics has promised more information about its SpotMini soon, but from this initial video I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s hench, terrifying and spectacular all at the same time.