If we can just put a pin in the fact that it’s a dead ringer for the robo-dog on Black Mirror, the semi-autonomous SpotMini is, objectively, a massive bound forward in the domestic robot realm.
And sorry to say, but whether you are terrified doesn’t matter, because it’s soon to leave its limboish pre-production phase: Boston Dynamics has a steady production plan that aims to bring these to the public as soon as next year.
And why not, we ask? It does dishes. Brings you snacks. It can now open doors and serve all manner of office grunt task. Really, I find the strange creature far less threatening than BD’s flipping Atlas robot, which I expect to morph into its shimmering final form at any moment now and come to repossess my undergraduate education. And it’s more entertaining than a Roomba, which just doesn’t take to anthropomorphization in quite the same way as something with limbs.
That said, I do admit the phase where Spot looked like nothing so much as a skinned metallurgic wildebeest was a bad look (but one I could learn to love if it selflessly served me soup and cleaned my kitchen sink).
You can cower in fear at the impending rise of SpotMini, but when you’re scraping the burnt ends out of a baking pan, think of me and my troop of robot dogs, playing fetch in our pristine domicile.