Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot has a lifelike gait and new look

Boston Dynamics has just posted an online video of its New SpotMini, the new version of the SpotMini robo-hound it unveiled last year. This new version is equal parts adorable and frightening, able to run with a canine-like gait that is nearly lifelike. At the same time, it is clearly a robot, one that strikes a pose by crouching and staring into your soul...with its square, soulless mechanical face.

These robots, which have been likened to a variety of animals including dogs and wolves, come in various shapes and sizes, some even being humanoid. In their early days — that is, just a few years ago — these robots were big, clumsy, moving in rigid, comical ways. Progress has moved quickly, though, and the modern day versions of these same robots are far more capable.

Boston Dynamics recently teased the public with a short video (above) introducing "New SpotMini," a new version of the robot the company introduced in 2016. This new version is shown running outside, untethered, with a gait that is far more lifelike than in the past. It's not hard to see the animal inspiration that went into the robot.

Not only is the robot shown running around a lawn, it is also demonstrated making a couple of complex poses, such as lowering its 'head' and angling it to the side, prancing in place, and fluidly lifting itself into an upright position. The robot is noisy when it moves, however. It is unclear what Boston Dynamics has in store for the robot, as it merely says "coming soon" and to stay tuned.