Today In Creepy Robots [VIDEO]

The Verge reports:

We’ve seen Boston Dynamics robots open doors before, but this egress is different. Outfitted with an articulating arm and clamp similar to the one it used to wash dishes in the original video, we see the new SpotMini locate, recognize, and deftly operate a door handle, and then hold the door to let its arm-less sibling march through. It’s a more delicate operation than when the Atlas robot brutishly muscled its way through a push-bar door in 2016, which means we might have to reevaluate our original assessment of the new SpotMini as “slightly less terrifying.”

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Creepy! These things should be unleashed in the White House to hunt down Russian spies, “fine” nazis and dirty traitors.

  • Ok, i’ll post here too.
    To further build on this concept, this episode of Black Mirror scared the ever lovin shit out of me.

    • Boreal

      Saw that one a few weeks ago. Humans destroyed by their own creations in a bleak, post apocalyptic future. Sounds like trumptopia.

      • Rambie

        It’s all fun and games until the AI’s take us humans out. 😉

        • TCinBerkeley

          If the AIs are at all intelligent (LOL), they will look around and build a starship to a nice empty solar system without any pesky humans to put a spanner in the works.

          • Rambie

            I hope the sarcasm was clear. Anyway, I really believe us humans will take eachother out before the AI’s get smart enough to do it for us.

          • TCinBerkeley

            I wasn’t very hopeful for the future, and I still have moments where I am like “Humans – ugh.” But Iain M Banks, the scifi writer, made me think that humans & AI could (mostly) work together in a better future. I know I won’t live to see it, but I do have some hope.

            In the end if humans take themselves out, the Earth will continue. Might take a while for it to recover, but this isn’t the planet’s first time at the rodeo.

          • Rambie

            I’m not so worried about AI to be honest. I’m more worried that the inherent self destructive and short sighted tendencies of the Human species will be our downfall.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Oh Wow!!
      Talk about a total, bigliest, mostest PIECE OF SHIT!!
      (edited to inquire….if these tweets are part of his Official Record as the WH claims, can we (the public) be banned from them?)

    • Fifth-and-a-Half Element
    • jeffg166

      No. He’s not our president. He’s Putin’s president.

  • BobSF_94117

    Fucking banana peels!!!

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    Willkommen to our new masters, at least they have logic not like that thing in the White House.

    • Lazycrockett

      FYI Cabaret is on tonight on TCM at 8 EST.

  • Paula

    That reminds me of really creepy dream sequence. They can follow you anywhere.

  • Lars Littlefield

    I had the odd experience of working for Siemens as a consultant once. The tons of code necessary to open, grab, and close a two digit clamp is unbelievably complex. One unnoticed typo can be enough for a robotic arm to move so fast it can whack your head off. I am impressed.

  • Miji

    So I need to booby trap my apartment with banana peals to slow down the creepy robots to allow time to get away.

  • Paula

    If I had one of those at home. my chihuahuas would be conspiring to take it down or training it to give them snacks.

    • thatotherjean

      The robots are kind of cute, in a creepy way; but I think I’ll keep the chihuahuas.

      • Palmer

        Chihuahuas are just land-piranhas. Get enough together and they can take down a grown man.

        • thatotherjean

          I have two of them, and I don’t disagree. They think they’re nine feet tall and bulletproof. Mine are sweethearts, though, and would rather snuggle than fight. They only attack if they’re convinced that one of their chosen people is threatened, or if they think they are. Of course, people say that about their pet pit bulls, too.

  • Ninja0980
    This is scarier then the robot video.
    The transformation of the 7th Circuit from a moderate court to a right wing hell hole will soon be complete.
    Imo, next to SCOTUS, you want to see a court whose future was riding on this election, the 7th Circuit was it.
    And people in IL,IN and WI will be the worse for it.
    PS. I’ll also say this.
    Even if the nominees for the 7th Circuit and others HAD been people of color, they certainly wouldn’t be any allies to civil rights such as voting, reproductive rights, LGBT rights etc.
    I understand the point Chris and others are making but folks like Clarence Thomas, Janice Rodgers Brown and Emilio Garza among others from the George Sr and Jr years are proof that any POC Trump nominates to the courts will be a horrible human being.

    • Tread

      Impeach all of them. If Trump is tried for treason, they are all illegitimate in my eyes.

  • bkmn

    What was disturbing was the demogorgon creatures on Stranger Things.

  • safari

    I welcome our mechanical children.

  • another_steve

    I love Joe’s “Creepy Robots” posts. I look forward to them.

    Someday I’ll own a robot that looks and performs exactly as Lukas Ridgeston does.

  • Leo
  • ErikDC

    That cold metal “hand” might be ok for opening a door knob, but I certainly wouldn’t want it on my “knob.”

  • The_Wretched

    So, Elan, you have a portable EMP I could buy? We’ll call it the Musk Cannon.

    • Treant

      Just call Bannakaffalatta; his cyborg core can be used to generate an EMP.

  • and folks, this is why the Terminator series is not “fiction.”

    at least Axl did one good song related to these things.

  • Mike C

    Opening doors I can handle. But they can now summon each other? Very unsettled.

    • Treant

      It’s not summoning. It’s collusion.

      • Mike C


  • Boreal

    Not happy with my senator at all.
    Kirsten Gillibrand Only Regrets Not Calling For Al Franken To Quit Sooner

    • The_Wretched

      and Frankin was the only one? There must be more.

      • stevenj

        The present occupant of the WH?

        • The_Wretched

          to start with

          they still havent released the full list of sexual harassment settlements paid for by the House and Senate.

    • Treant

      Nobody’s perfect.

      But she should be better than that.

    • bzrd

      she’s not a deep thinker,
      and she really pissed me off because Frankin had already said, let’s have an investigation which was so important

  • safari
    • clay

      not to be confused with NOM.

  • Treant

    That’s not creepy. Or not as creepy as some I’ve seen.

    The oddest thing about it is that it doesn’t open the door the way a human would. Or even a cat. Or a dog (no, seriously, our elder dog and my mom’s can open doors and gates pretty easily). It opens the door in an incredibly logical step-by-step way that’s nothing like the way messy, random life would do it.

    And strangely, we’re much better at it.

    • BobSF_94117

      I thought it opened a door pretty much the same way I would if I were carrying something heavy or bulky in my other hand.

      • Treant

        I tend to use an elbow in that case; I need the hand to simultaneously grab the door.

        • BobSF_94117

          Just how many elbows do you have?

          • Treant

            One to two, depending on the encumbrance level.

    • Tread

      It opened the door as if it had never seen or used a door handle before. Give the AI some time to train itself and I bet you see it do the same kind of “shortcuts” we use to open doors. And more efficiently.

  • billbear1961

    Program them to seek out and eliminate every traitor at work subverting the rule of LAW!

  • Professor Barnhardt

    It threw the can in the recycling bin? It’s smarter than my coworkers.

    • clay

      Do you think it weighed it to determine if it was an empty?

  • billbear1961

    Program some of them to hold power accountable at PRESS CONFERENCES!

  • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

    OT: Fired officer who refused to shoot suspect settles lawsuit

    Finally, an officer with some balls and an actual brain. We need to hear more about officers such as Stephen Mader. And, we need to stand beside them for their actions.

  • safari

    This made me sad.

    This American Life

    “You Had One Job”

    A bomb disposal robot is assigned a new and even more complicated task. Fiction by Scott Brown, read by actor Jeremy Shamos. (19 minutes)

  • AmeriCanadian

    I don’t like them. Frankly, I think we’re playing with fire.

    • Matt G, Rochester

      So does physicist Steven Hawking!

  • JohnJay

    Um, did the one without the arm see the door, then summon the other one with the arm to open it. Then they both went into the other room together. Why did the armed one decide to follow the other one into the room. It didn’t have any interest in doing that originally. Are they learning and working together? The AI singularity is approaching.

  • Harveyrabbit
  • Lars Littlefield

    Not even remotely entertaining as a litter of puppies.

  • PickyPecker

    This post is proudly sponsored by ‘Peckers4Progress™, 2018″

  • Hank

    The Big Bang Theory / Howard Wolowitz – Robotic Hand

  • clay

    “we see the new SpotMini locate, recognize, and deftly operate a door handle,
    and then hold the door to let its arm-less sibling march through

    In other words, more polite than any (adult male) Trump.

  • billbear1961
    • billbear1961
      • billbear1961

        Peace . . . Order . . . JUSTICE.

        If it takes a machine to establish it, so be it.

        I’m tired of the TYRANNY of the DEMON APE.

        And so is, I dare say, GAIA.

  • Floridians will not be intimidated by these robots. We have giant flying “Palmetto Bugs” and we know how to fight them off.

    • billbear1961



      • KarenAtFOH

        “Kill them! Kill them all!”
        “Come on you apes, you wanna live forever?”

        • billbear1961

          Hello, Karen!

          • KarenAtFOH

            Hello dear Bear! I hope you are well. We both got the flu here, but are recovering nicely.

          • billbear1961

            I’m glad to hear it, since they keep saying how awful it is, this year!

          • Myles

            I got the shot but I got the flu anyway.

    • KnownDonorDad


  • Capritaur

    It’s missing the hot daddy Kevin Blankespoor who’s normally in these videos abusing the robots.

    • The Milkman

      Omg hot robot daddy! I love him. Didn’t know his name so now my life is a little more complete. I wonder if he has any idea that he has a thirsty little cohort of fans.

  • CanuckDon

    Nice that they programmed it to do the dishes. Make it shovel the driveway and I’ll get my credit card!

    • clay

      “Oh, Don, I wouldn’t set down that beer if I we– Sorry, it’s a bit of a neat freak.”

      • billbear1961

        *rings the bell for tea*

      • CanuckDon

        And even though it’s annoying, I think we’ll keep that squeak when it walks!

    • bzrd

      you’re so trusting
      once the bots figure out they don’t need us, you’ll never be able to sleep comfortably again!

    • nocadrummer

      Hmmm… if they’re programmed to clean up, you could end up like this…

  • Fifth-and-a-Half Element
  • Puck

    Oh the banana peel was hilarious!!!

    • clay

      I was surprised that it worked.

      • billbear1961

        Poor thing went down HARD!

  • Brian Westley
  • edrex

    i just watched the first episode of “westworld” last night. i’m kind of digging it.

    • TCinBerkeley

      I really liked it. My Ex was not a fan, but he has a hard time with fiction/narrative.

  • 2patricius2

    Wow! I want one for president…

    • Ann Kah

      The robot they currently have is malfunctioning.

  • billbear1961

    It doesn’t swear when it slips and falls on the banana peel!

    I wonder why it does NOT want to let go of that can it serves the man. Then, it falls over when it fails to retrieve it!

  • Megrim Twist

    Very impressive, very creepy, I love them.

  • fuow

    Cool! I want them!

  • motordog

    So, the final battle for Earth will be between the robot forces and the giant cloned crayfish horde (look it up!).

  • KnownDonorDad

    (Spoilers for the “Metalhead” episode of Black Mirror, unfortunately goes out of sync midway through)

    • greenmanTN

      Never heard of that show before today, but it looks creepy as hell!

      • KnownDonorDad

        It’s in the mold of Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. Very dark.

  • But can it be trained to chase Mormons off your porch?

    • Ann Kah

      It can recognize Jehovah’s Witnesses at half a block. Neatly dressed, earnest faces, and traveling in pairs …yep, they’re the ones.

      • So true! Now, Mormons present a special problem, because not everyone who comes to your porch wearing a white shirt is a Mormon. And some of them hide the Book of Mormon behind their backs. So it has to be able to recognize especially nervous young men in white shirts who look like they believe in golden tablets written in “Reformed Egyptian” that were translated into English with the help of two magic stones named Urim and Thummim.

  • Kevin Perez

    Personally, I look forward to the day when we get to serve our robot overlords.

  • Oscarlating Wildely

    Black Mirror fans, the Metalhead dogs will rule over us all.

  • DumbHairyApe

    So, they can just pretty much leave when they want to now, right?

  • DumbHairyApe

    Honestly, part of me wants one, part of me wants to run away from one.

  • Ann Kah

    I’d be tempted to offer it a treat (a bowl of microchips, perhaps) and tell it to go out and play. Do they make a model that uses the doggie door?

  • Donna Lee

    What would be the point, other than working out the kinks of a walking robot, making one that just walks? I would think the whole point of having it walk would be to convey the arm(s) somewhere for some purpose, otherwise you have a stationary arm which is then hard to move elsewhere.

  • ETownCanuck