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Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini leads the robot resistance against human bullies

Earlier this month, Boston Dynamics showcased a version of its four-legged SpotMini robot with a new appendage allowing it to open doors.

Now, in a clip that’ll have some paranoid futurists breaking out in hives, the robotics group is showing what happens when a human tries to stop its dog-like machine leaving the room.

In a YouTube clip entitled Testing Robustness, the company’s engineers are, once again, firing a little tough love at their creation.

Related: Meet the robots competing in the Winter Olympics 

The engineer uses a hockey stick to knock Spot’s ‘hand’ away from the doorhandle, attempts to slam it shut once open and finally drags it away with a leash attached to its rear end.

Each time, SpotMini resists, before eventually making its way through the door, probably to cock its leg and spray WD-40 all over a nice couch.

We’re not sure why Boston Dynamics insists on bullying its robots. When the robot uprising occurs this lot will be first in line to be straightened out. Now it’s actually teaching them to fight back, which seems like asking for trouble.

In all seriousness, teaching its creations resistance and persistence will be important when these robots are deployed beyond a lab setting.

For example, during a search and rescue operation, machines like SpotMini will doubtless face difficult conditions and terrains and it’ll be imperative they not give up after the first try.

In the video description Boston Dynamics assures us: “The ability to tolerate and respond automatically to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot. (Note: This testing does not irritate or harm the robot.)”

Yeah, for now…

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