You won’t have to worry about this robot crashing into you.
On Thursday, Boston Dynamics showed how its upcoming robot dog, the SpotMini, can flawlessly navigate across an office campus — all on its own.
The company released a new video demonstrating the four-legged bot traveling across an entire office campus, moving from indoor and outdoor, and then back again.
At no point in the video, does the machine bump into a desk or collide into a person. It simply keeps moving, traveling from one building to another, and even walking up and down a flight of stairs.
To successfully navigate the campus, Boston Dynamics said the SpotMini had to be “manually driven” through the office spaces, so that it’s onboard computer could build a virtual map of the area. Helping it see the world are cameras mounted on the machine’s front, back and sides.
“During the autonomous run, SpotMini uses data from the cameras to localize itself in the map and to detect and avoid obstacles,” the company said.
The video demonstrates what this can look like from the machine’s point of view; it showed an internal map of the SpotMini navigating from one point to the next, fully aware it needed to turn a corner. The robot will also scan its surroundings in real-time to help it avoid collisions.
“Once the operator presses ‘GO’ at the beginning of the video, the robot is on its own,” Boston Dynamics added.
When the SpotMini will go up for sale isn’t clear, but the company has been teasing its features in recent months, showing that the robot dog can also open doors with the help of an attachable robot hand.
On the same day, Boston Dynamics also uploaded another video of its Atlas robot. It shows the human-like machine running outside and jumping over a log. Clearly, the company is making progress with its next generation robots and how they can navigate the world.