Wacky robot modder has taught Boston Dynamics’ robodog Spot to pee in a cup of beer.

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This is unquestionably the last thing you’d want this robot to do.

Tired of having to empty your red Solo cups for each round of beer pong? Your cup-filling days are done with the Pissbot 9000. Simply place your spent Solos on the board, and Pissbot will urinate your favourite beverage into them, making you instantly ready for the next round.

Since its debut in 2017, Boston Dynamics has been teaching its quadruped robotic dog Spot a variety of tasks. It has the ability to unlock doors. It has the ability to sweep the kitchen, weed the yard, and skip rope. Others also joined the training since the SDK and Spot were made available to the public. It was programmed by the Massachusetts State Police to assist the bomb squad. Adam Savage had it prepared to pull a rickshaw. Its abilities seem to be constrained only by the imagination. Consider the following example:

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Spot, a clever robot modder called Michael Reeves, has been taught to pee beer into a red Solo cup on orders. The instruction was to place the cup on the floor for the robot to locate. The heavily updated Spot, aptly renamed “Pissbot 9000,” can locate a cup anywhere in the room, place its “penis” over it, and squirt beer into it.

Reeves’ changes did not actually include strapping a mini-keg to Spot’s back and reprogramming it. He also produced a spout gimbal (penis) for precise flow targeting. To insure the robot doesn’t skip the cup, the mechanism employs servos and a solenoid operated by a Raspberry-Pi “vision system”

Reeves also wanted to design a cup monitoring system so Spot could locate cups from around the building. The red Solos are difficult to recognise by the stock internal camera. A higher-quality camera from BD, on the other hand, costs nearly $30,000. So Reeves wanted to make one out of an ordinary home surveillance camera, a wireless dongle, and a long line of AV adapters.

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Unfortunately, Pissbot 9000 just has a 35% accuracy rating, according to Reeves. Aside from that, it performs “flawlessly”—as long as you don’t mind just foam. Since Spot lacks pressure-control mechanisms, the beer erupts with the energy of a Super Soaker. About the fact that it doesn’t perform well, it’s amusing to see someone use Spot for a job that Boston Dynamics strongly opposes.

Reeves uploaded the whole process to YouTube, along with his signature “colourful” (read: explicit) commentary (above). Even if it’s just a mistake, I’d rather have Spot piss me a beer than break into my house and pull a Metalhead on me as I sleep.

 

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