Google’s robots wish you a merry Christmas

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Posted By Parveen

Google’s robots wish you a merry Christmas: What better way to celebrate Christmas than putting quadruped robots on reindeer duty and having them drag Santa’s sleigh around the neighborhood? Robotics company Boston Dynamics did just that — and recorded it. The robots used in the short, sweet and somewhat scary video are Spots — four-legged, canine-like robots that weigh around 160 pounds but are surprisingly nimble and certainly up for the task.

Google’s robots wish you a merry Christmas

Boston Dynamics, which was acquired by Google in 2013, is no stranger to making robots do odd things. In June, it released a video of a Spot dancing, and in August, we saw one of the company’s larger robots named Atlas rushing through the woods.

Honestly, we prefer reindeer, but Boston Dynamics’ man-made beasts are cute.

The company has said little about what it’s building in the Boston Dynamics labs in Waltham, Massachusetts. All we get is the occasional amazing robot video. The latest entry, a two-minute exercise in robot abuse, features Spot, a smaller version of the giant Big Dog quadruped robot.

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The 160-pound, four-legged Spot is remarkably agile. Google’s robots navigate an office on its own, then heads outside to climb a steep hill and a flight of stairs. Spot safely makes its way over rough terrain, which it navigates with the help of its head-mounted sensor. At one point the developers pair Spot with the original Big Dog, which Spot basically humiliates.

The electric-powered hydraulically actuated Spot even goes for a jog. If this thing had a dog-like head, I might run for the hills rather than run alongside it.

It’s at this point that you should get really freaked out, because google’s robots struggling to stay upright looks very much like a living thing trying to do the same.

Boston Dynamics and parent company Google included little text with the video and no press release or contact information. What Google plans on doing with this kickable robot is anyone’s guess.


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