It seems like each time Boston Dynamics releases a video of one of its very life-like machines, we somehow get closer to living in a world akin to the one featured in the “Terminator” films (or so the jokes go).
On Monday, the Waltham-based company, whose name has become synonymous with viral YouTube hits, showed off a sleeker, modified version of its SpotMini robot. Within a day, the video had been viewed more than 1 million times, and became the “Top Trending” clip on YouTube.
While the company didn’t say much about the revamped product — “The New SpotMini . . . For more information . . . stay tuned” — the video sort of speaks for itself. A machine that moves with the grace of a cheetah and is about the size of a large dog comes sprinting across a lawn, inspects the area, and then disappears behind a wall. There’s one moment where the faceless creation seems to stare directly into the camera. It’s enough to creep out the biggest robot fanatic.
The clip ends with the words “SpotMini” and “Coming Soon,” as the springy creature trots off, displaying its ability to maneuver freely in its surroundings.
Boston Dynamics, which was spun off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and also makes robots that walk like people and run like deer, was dropped by Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, in 2016. It was acquired by Softbank, a Japanese conglomerate, earlier this year.
This isn’t the first time the SpotMini has been shown off to the public. An earlier version featured on the company’s website shows a bulkier and less glossy looking machine.
That original is described by the company as “a small four-legged robot that comfortably fits in an office or home” and weighs around 55 pounds. The original SpotMini was, at that time, the quietist robot in the company’s arsenal, and ran on an electric charge for up to 90 minutes. If the video of the new SpotMini is any indication, this version will be quieter and lighter on its four feet.
“[It’s] a nimble robot that handles objects, climbs stairs, and will operate in offices, homes and outdoors,” according to the company’s website.Hiawatha Bray of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.