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Boston Dynamics' newest robot can load your dishwasher

Posted June 27

WALTHAM, Mass. — If you’ve ever dreamed of having a pet robot that can clean up your messes, then you’ll love Boston Dynamics’ latest creation.

The eager-to-please SpotMini is about the size of a Labrador retriever and weighs 55 pounds “dripping wet,” according to the robotics company. A video posted Thursday shows the all-electric machine load a glass into a dishwasher and put an aluminum can in the recycling bin.

“SpotMini is one of the quietest robots we have ever built,” the video description reads. “It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance.”

The helpful house robot can run for about 90 minutes. It is a smaller version of the 160-pound Spot robot, which was kicked around in its introduction video in February 2015.

SpotMini probably won’t show up in anyone’s kitchen to lend a helping hand — or long neck — anytime soon, but it demonstrates what could become available in the future. Just make sure there aren’t any banana peels lying around your house when you finally get a robot of your own.

Boston Dynamics specializes in building robots for the military, like the Cheetah and Atlas. It is currently owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, but reportedly up for sale.

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