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Uh-oh, those Boston Dynamics guys are at it again. Not content to bully their humanoid Atlas robot, now they’re smacking their robot dog SpotMini on the head with a hockey stick and pulling it by the tail. For science, apparently…

Do they not watch any science fiction movies at all?! At least we know these guys will be the first against the wall when the robot uprising eventually occurs, giving us some time to escape into the forest…

Humour aside, the bullying is actually said to be a ‘test of robustness’ of the robot – here’s what Boston Dynamics say about the video:

A test of SpotMini’s ability to adjust to disturbances as it opens and walks through a door. A person (not shown) drives the robot up to the door, points the hand at the door handle, then gives the ‘GO’ command, both at the beginning of the video and again at 42 seconds. The robot proceeds autonomously from these points on. A camera in the hand finds the door handle, cameras on the body determine if the door is open or closed and help navigate through the doorway. Controllers provide locomotion, balance and adjust behavior when progress gets off track. The ability to tolerate and respond to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot. (Note: This testing does not irritate or harm the robot.)

Are they sure?