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Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Gets a New Look

Boston Dynamics has given its robot dog an upgrade.

In a 25-second YouTube clip, the company unveiled the new SpotMini, a four-legged bot housed in a sleek yellow casing. "Coming soon," the video teases as SpotMini trots over grass and ducks down like a real dog.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgaO45SyaO4&w=560&h=315]

The company showed off a prototype model last year without any exterior casing; its black and silver parts were exposed. The all-electric model weighed 55 pounds, and could run for 90 minutes on one charge. It could be equipped with a robot arm that sat on top of the SpotMini's back—allowing it, for example, to place a glass cup in a dishwasher, dump trash into a wastebin, and rather hilariously, fetch a can of soda to a human person like a dog might. It could also recover and stand back up again after stumbling over a pile of banana peels.


It's unclear if the upgraded SpotMini will come with a robot arm; the new video clip doesn't show it built with one. Boston Dynamics didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

SpotMini is a smaller version of Boston Dynamics's larger four-legged robot called Spot, which could stand and still walk, despite taking a kick from a human.

Both robots use a variety of sensors, including LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)—the same technology self-driving cars are using—to navigate and maintain balance.

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