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Creepy robot that could ‘destroy’ has a new rival

(Credit: Anybotics)

In May, the world got a look at Boston Dynamics’ intriguing, albeit terrifying creations, Atlas and SpotMini, a humanoid and a doglike robot, respectively. The robots were to perform new functions, such as running through the woods and navigating an office.

Four months can be enough time to recover from that disturbing video, but now that the world was introduced to a new quadrapedal robot – an appropriate name, ANYmal.

Robotic Systems Lab in Switzerland, the ETH Zurich University posted a new video of ANYmal on Sept. 21, creepily, in which the ability to a handle, push open a door and walk through unimpeded.

BOSTON DYNAMICS’ LATEST ROBOT CAN OPEN DOORS

“The torque controllability of the whole system enables the implementation of compliant behavior, allowing the user to safely interact with the robot in a very natural way,” Robotic Systems Lab wrote in the description of the video.

In the 2 minute and 15 second clip, a spectator grabs the robot is powerful, pushes and prints it, before ANYmal continues on his way down the hall.

Although it is undeniably disturbing to watch a robot open a closed door, the video also shows the more ‘human’ side, picking up trash (what if the robot decides humanity is the recycle bin?) and placing it in a waste container. It also shows that the robot with a glass of water and the help of a man to pick up and move a 7.3-pound box.

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ANYmal weighs 66 pounds and is able to lift loads up to about 22 kilos, so it is not likely to overthrow humanity just yet. On its website, it is described as being able to “move and operate in challenging terrain, and interacting safely with the environment.”

Anybotics, the maker (and a spin-off of Robotics Systems Lab), says that it is “applicable to industrial indoor or outdoor sites for control and manipulation tasks, in the natural terrain or rubble areas for search and rescue duties, or on the stage for animation and entertainment.”

Hopefully, these treats are not violent ends.

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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