Adam Savage received a Spot quadruped robot from Boston Dynamics earlier this year, and he can’t get enough of it. This time, he turns it into a rickshaw driver of sorts, and since Spot is still remote-controlled, it requires adjustments to its out-of-the-box software in order to better complete its task. Savage spent around 5-days building this “steampunk-Victorian funeral” rickshaw, with most of that time going into the harness for Spot to pull the rickshaw along. Read more for the video demonstration and additional information.
The first try went decently with Spot’s default settings and Boston Dynamics field operations lead Seth Davis remotely controlling it. The robot was capable of pulling Savage in the rickshaw down a straight path, but had trouble when it reached a slight incline. However, when they tweaked Spot’s software so that it was aware of the weight and forces it was bearing, things went smoother.
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I wanted an early video to be a simple task that we give Spot that is fun and evocative and strange — and hilarious,” said Save who noted in the past that he has had a longtime obsession with rickshaws.