Boston Dynamics posted a video last week of one robot helping another leave this very same room. When you see how the worker treats the “SpotMini” robot, you just might understand why they’re all trying to escape.
In actuality, the testing is intended to understand how well the robot handles unanticipated events.
A test of SpotMini’s ability to adjust to disturbances as it opens and walks through a door. A person (not shown) drives the robot up to the door, points the hand at the door handle, then gives the ‘GO’ command, both at the beginning of the video and again at 42 seconds. The robot proceeds autonomously from these points on. A camera in the hand finds the door handle, cameras on the body determine if the door is open or closed and help navigate through the doorway. Controllers provide locomotion, balance and adjust behavior when progress gets off track. The ability to tolerate and respond to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot. (Note: This testing does not irritate or harm the robot.)