We got an up-close-and-personal look at Boston Dynamic’s mysterious robot, the SpotMini, at the Liberty Science Center’s Genius Gala. 

The SpotMini is a four-legged robot that was developed to learn what is possible with a mobile manipulation platform. 

Operations lead Seth Davis gave us a little insight into what makes this dog(dinosaur?)-like robot tick. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Davis: Hi, I’m Seth Davis and I’m the operations lead at Boston Dynamics. SpotMini is a four-legged
robot with an arm on it. And we developed this robot to learn what was possible with a mobile manipulation platform. So mobile in the sense that it’s got four legs and it can go inside of a house or on rough terrain. And manipulation in that we use the mobile base to put the arm where we want to do work. 

And then we have this arm that can actually pick up things, put them down, and do real work inside of a home, inside of a business, just out in the real world. 

For demos like this, the robot is semiautomated. I’m giving it very basic commands with my Xbox controller. If I tell it to walk forward, it walks forward. The robot’s making all of its own decisions about what to do with the feet. And when I move the arm, I’m just giving very basic commands to move the arm forward or back, move the arm side to side, and the robot’s making all the decisions about what to do with each individual motor to make that happen. For a real-world application, you’d want that to be fully-autonomous or at least done by somebody who’s not in the same location. And we’re working on that right now as well. 

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/watch-boston-dynamics-spotmini-dog-like-robot-do-party-tricks-2017-5

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