Robotics and AI

Astro: the four-legged friend … robot

20 August 2019 | Written by La redazione

Florida Atlantic University researchers have developed an intelligent robotic dog by combining 3D printing, artificial intelligence and Boston Dinamycs SpotMini

Credits Alex Dolce


Try to imagine a puppy that has just started training and is about to become faithful and obedient. You don’t need a big fantasy, you say.
We have not told you, however, that the dog in question is a robot

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University, FAU, are developing a robodog that promises great things: created by combining the Boston Dynamics SpotMini, a 3D printed muzzle and an artificial intelligence system, Astro uses deep learning to learn and improve, like any dog that carries out training.

Astro will be able to understand and respond to gestures and signals, detect and distinguish colours, understand many languages, coordinate with other devices (such as drones), distinguish human faces and even recognize other dogs and different smells, according to the team working on the project. Its uses could be manifold: help law enforcement and military in dangerous situations, assist to elderly and disabled or offer its contribution in search and rescue missions.

The training has just started but Astro is already more obedient than many puppies and is able to respond to some simple commands like “sitting” or “on the ground”, as witnessed by this video:

If the training proceeds positively on an element, in our opinion, the researchers still have a lot of work to do: there is no need for Astro, but it is definitely less cute than a puppy in flesh and blood. Although being able to avoid the morning walk for many could be a considerable advantage.

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