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Boston Dynamics' dog and brain mystery

You've seen it by now — Boston Dynamics' latest demonstration of anthropomorphic (actually canine) pyrotechnics.

lots of robots can find a door handle and open it, Atkeson said. But "legged robots have much more mobility tha current wheeled robots with two arms."

What the achievement shows: According to Chris Atkeson, a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, the dogs show "excellent control of position and orientation of hand while [the] robot moves."

  • The issue here is mobility: lots of robots can find a door handle and open it, Atkeson said. But "legged robots have much more mobility than current wheeled robots with two arms."

What it doesn't show: It is impossible to know whether the robots have any intelligence. That is, are they pre-programmed? Is there a team operating them by remote control? Or is there the prospect that such robots could in fact operate on their own in your home? Boston Dynamics did not say, nor did they respond to an email.

Rodney Brooks, the founder of the robots company Rethink, tells Axios, "I will be impressed when someone not from the company can take the robots in a truck to a location of their choice, turn the robots on, and command them to go through a door, and they do it. I suspect this demo is many many years away from that capability."