But can it herd sheep? Spot, the Boston Dynamics robot

February 1, 2021 • 2:30 pm

Here’s the YouTube video of Spot the Robotic D*g, of course a product of Boston Dynamics. It’s programmed to do this stuff, meaning it doesn’t find trash by itself and deposit it in the basket (at least, as far as I know). That’s coming, though. And of course it would be good for police work, disposing of bombs, and so on. Spot can certainly bring you your slippers, too!

The YouTube notes:

Now that Spot has an arm in addition to legs and cameras, it can do mobile manipulation. It finds and picks up objects (trash), tidies up the living room, opens doors, operates switches and valves, tends the garden, and generally has fun. Motion of the hand, arm and body are automatically coordinated to simplify manipulation tasks and expand the arm’s workspace, making its reach essentially unbounded. The behavior shown here was programmed using a new API for mobile manipulation that supports autonomy and user applications, as well as a tablet that lets users do remote operations. For more information, watch our launch event at 11am EST tomorrow.

And that launch will be at this site.

h/t: Bryan

19 thoughts on “But can it herd sheep? Spot, the Boston Dynamics robot

  1. I thought it was clever how they replace the old food bucket with a laundry basket when they bring it inside.

  2. I saw an Adam Savage video from before this in which he does some tests – basic things, but you can see what it’d be like if you just got one. Readers might look it up.

    I don’t want to give away a spoiler on this video from today though – it involves a rope – is that nuts or is it not?

    1. Adam Savage with Spot (that he bought from Boston Dynamics): https://youtu.be/R-PdPtqw78k

      It’s long but I think worthwhile and also skippable during slow parts – he duct tapes a magnetic picker upper on Spot to clean up a parking lot, among other things – a sort of QR code is necessary for some navigation.

      … I like the idea of Spot herding sheep – it might need a dog mask….

  3. I recently read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time in decades. I had seen the 1966 movie several times since, and I had pretty much forgotten the book. One of the things I had forgotten is that the firemen have “dogs”, which are really spider-like robots with flame-throwers that assist them in their work (by doing things like incinerating malefactors). I thought that the General Dynamics dogs would be well cast in that role. (By the way, the single medium through which people consume information in the book would also fit the internet well.)

  4. These robots are way cool, but what comes of it depends on cost and reliability. Also, will people want one around? Most of us thought we’d be riding around on those Segway machines now.

      1. Sorry, I somehow missed your previous posting. Since the previous video was so much more impressive than the latter video, I (incorrectly) assumed that you had not seen the earlier one..

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