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Straight out of dystopia: Robot that opens doors taking world by storm

Robotics firm Boston Dynamics posted a video of its dog-like SpotMini, which can sense door handles and open doors.

world Updated: Feb 14, 2018 19:48 IST
Kartikeya Ramanathan
Kartikeya Ramanathan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Boston Dynamics,SpotMini,robot
The SpotMini with an arm extending out of its head. (via YouTube)

A quadruped robot with an arm extending out of its head walks up to a door. It senses the door handle, finds it, opens the door, and with its foot, props the door open for its armless companion.

This is no sci-fi movie set in a post-dystopian world. This is real life.

On Monday, robotics firm Boston Dynamics posted a video of its dog-like SpotMini on YouTube. According to CNBC, the video titled “Hey brother, can you give me hand” was the number one trending video by Tuesday, with more than five million views. This is the first time the company has publicly demonstrated the SpotMini opening a door.

The video has left people feeling very uncomfortable, with many citing the recent Black Mirror episode Metalhead, in which quadruped robots attempt to kill the protagonist after an unexplained collapse of human society.

Netflix was one of the first to make the comparison, tweeting: “black mirror is a documentary.”

Film company Funny or Die tweeted: “In the future, maybe we’ll have flying cars! BOSTON DYNAMICS: What about robot dogs that will soon hunt and kill us all?... BOSTON DYNAMICS: They can open doors now, btw.”

Others remembered the plot of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator franchise and implied that Boston Dynamics was the real-life Skynet.

“Boston Dynamics is going to be the end of us all, and the last remaining humans will be wondering how we didn’t see it coming,” television personality Nick Wright tweeted.

Some saw the funny side of it.

Political scientist Thomas Rid tweeted: “Every time Boston Dynamics updates its doggy robots there are thousands of posts on how the future machines will enslave us — each watched and typed and shared on little machines that have already enslaved us.”

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 18:57 IST