Video Friday: Boston Dynamics, Autonomous Drone, and Robot Drum Man

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, ...

Your next coworker could be a robot


AI has become one of the great, meaningless buzzwords of our time. In this video, the Chief Data Scientist of Dun and Bradstreet explains AI in clear business terms. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) are beginning to revamp the way thing...

Boston Dynamics crosses new threshold with door-opening dog

The Guardian

Tue 13 Feb 2018 13.15 EST Last modified on Tue 13 Feb 2018 13.31 EST Eight years after it was first revealed to the public, the uncanny gait of Boston Dynamics' quadrupedal robots is still unsettling. But a new video, released by the firm on Monday, shows the company's flagship robot, the SpotMini,...

The Robot Dog That Can Open a Door Is Even More Impressive Than It Looks


Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. The renowned robot-maker Boston Dynamics released a new, and likely highly produced, video on Monday of its latest robot "dog," the SpotMini. From the l...

Drones that dodge obstacles without guidance can pursue you like paparazzi

MIT Technology Review

Artificially intelligent drones are coming--and they're going to shoot some really sick snowboarding videos along the way. A startup called Skydio is launching the first drone capable of visually imprinting on a person, a bit like a needy duckling, and then following him or her around, deftly navig...

Skydio Demonstrates Incredible Obstacle-Dodging Full Autonomy With New R1 Consumer Drone

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Almost two years ago, a startup called Skydio posted some video of a weird-looking drone autonomously following people as they jogged and biked along paths and around trees. Even without much in the way of detail, this was exciting for three reasons: First, the drone was moving at a useful speed and...

Closed Doors Are No Match for Boston Dynamics' Latest Robotic Dog


Robotics firm Boston Dynamics is showing off its latest creation: A robotic dog that can open doors. In a video posted by Boston Dynamics, the company's SpotMini robot is seen struggling to get past a locked door -- until another SpotMini shows up with a special arm that opens the door. The second robot then holds the door open for its robotic buddy. It isn't clear if the robots are acting autonomously or if someone's controlling their movements behind the scenes. Boston Dynamics' videos never fail to impress -- or to terrify, depending on your views of robotics and artificial intelligence. The company's creations may have been the inspiration behind a recent episode of the dystopian sci-fi series Black Mirror in which robotic dogs set out to kill all living things. But robots like the kind Boston Dynamics makes can have real-world benefits, like the ability to find people stranded in the rubble after an earthquake. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank purchased Boston Dynamics from Google parent company Alphabet in 2017 for an undisclosed sum.

Boston Dynamics robot dog opens door and holds it open for robot with no arms

The Independent

Boston Dynamics' robot dog can now open doors. The company has posted a new video that shows SpotMini, a small, four-legged robot, approach a closed door, twist its handle, pull it open and hold it there to allow another robot through. It then follows right behind, and the door swings shut behind them. The dog-like robot pulls off the trick using an arm that sticks out of its head. It's an impressive feat and the video has, unsurprisingly, sparked discussions about how advanced robots are becoming, and raised concerns about what the future could hold for humans. SpotMini, the quietest robot Boston Dynamics has built, is also capable of handling objects, climbing stairs and doing the washing up. It weighs 30kg with its arm attached, can carry 14kg of weight. It also comes equipped with stereo cameras, depth cameras and position/force sensors in its limbs, which "help with navigation and mobile manipulation". The door video is the latest in a long line of viral clips created and released by Boston Dynamics. In November, it posted footage of Atlas, its humanoid robot, executing a perfect backflip and landing securely on its feet. However, as the final part of that video shows, it can't always pull the move off successfully. The Independent's bitcoin group on Facebook is the best place to follow the latest discussions and developments in cryptocurrency. Join here for the latest on how people are making money – and how they're losing it.

Nobody can handle that video of a robot dog opening a door for his robot dog friend


If films like Terminator and I, Robot have taught us anything, it's that one day humanity will finally take this whole robotics thing too far. Well brace yourselves for some machine-assisted doom, because on Monday Boston Dynamics released a new piece of deeply unnerving footage that's almost certainly the beginning of the end. SEE ALSO: What an AI ethics expert thinks of'Black Mirror' Season 4 The 45 second clip features a robot dog with this weird grabby attachment on its head opening an actual door for another robot dog. This is one of the most terrifying things I've seen in all my life Needless to say, everyone was terrified. In the plus side, it takes two of them to open a door. On the minus side they are now INSIDE YOUR HOUSE I guess it's cool to know how I'm going to die. There were a good few Black Mirror references. I put the door opening robots video to the Jurassic Park theme because someone had to. Also, we're all going to die. Meanwhile, some people tried to put on a brave face. While others suggested futile resistance. Ultimately, though, Zack Braff had the right idea. Well, we had a good run. I for one welcome our new robot overlords. The sooner we accept our fate and welcome our shiny new commander-in-chiefs, the better.

Skiing robots hit the slopes in South Korea – video

The Guardian

Robots of all shapes and sizes took turns skiing, with varying degrees of success, down a course near Pyeongchang in what is believed to be the first robot skiing competition in the world. All entrants were required to measure more than 50cm in height, stand on'two legs', have joints resembling elbow and knees, an independent power system and use ski plates and poles. The event was designed to capitalise on attention on Pyeongchang during the Winter Olympics