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Boston Dynamics robot knows how to open doors—and people are terrified

Meet Boston Dynamics' SpotMini.


Kris Seavers

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 12, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 1:10 am CDT

In 2018, dog-looking robots are learning new tricks—and they’re freaking people out.

Robotics company Boston Dynamics posted on Monday a video of its SpotMini—a so-called quadruped robot with four limbs to walk on and an arm with a clamp atop—extending a “hand” to turn a handle and open a door. The SpotMini then politely holds the door for another robot to walk through.

Naturally, people are terrified.

It’s easy to think of all the worst-case scenarios, especially in light of every robot thriller film ever.

The robots reminded people of some certain CGI dinosaurs.

And plenty of people couldn’t help but think of Black Mirror season 4’s episode “Metalhead,” which features terrifying killer robot “dogs.”

The similarities aren’t arbitrary. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has said the robot dogs in “Metalhead” were partly inspired by Boston Dynamics YouTube videos. Here’s an older video featuring another SpotMini.

But horrifying apocalypse foreshadowing aside, people on Twitter had plenty of jokes about the real-life robots.

Even “bare minimum Twitter,”  thrilled with the robot’s chivalry, made an appearance.

And for anyone that’s not so jazzed on the idea of a door-holding robot, the good news is that the older version of the technology still works just fine.

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*First Published: Feb 12, 2018, 7:29 pm CST