The good stuff keeps coming out of Boston Dynamics, home of the backflipping robot. They’ve been developing four-legged robots for as long as we can remember, too, and those dog-like bots always seem to be learning new tricks. This week, the SpotMini robot learned the trick of politeness, gaining the ability to open and hold doors for its fellow robots — unknown if they’ll hold them open for humans, too.
The video is of one SpotMini that isn’t quite as well equipped as its friend. The four-legged bot looks a closed door up and down, as forlornly as a robot can look at anything, before said friend comes around the corner armed with, well, an arm. The second robot is able to see and recognize the door handle, then use its mechanical arm to grab and push down on the handle.
The cool part comes next, as the door opener seems to do something very human-like. If you’ve ever tried to elbow open a door with arms full of groceries, you know the trick where you kinda awkwardly hook your leg around the door, then push it open and hold it there until you can get through. That’s exactly what the SpotMini does with its arm to open the door, before holding it and politely letting its armless friend go through first.
It’s been a good week for robots. They’ve also been taking to the slopes in South Korea near PyeongChang to put their skiing skills to the test — they’re on the bunny slopes and not doing any tricks, but hey, we all have to start somewhere! Honestly, it’s the bots that are getting ripped that you really have to worry about.