Boston Dynamics uploaded a video on its official YouTube channel a few hours ago, demonstrating the “language capabilities” of Boston Dynamics robot dogs. In the video, the Boston Dynamics robot dog avatar “tour guide” takes staff on a tour of the company’s various facilities.
The robot dog is currently able to answer questions and open its “mouth” as it makes a sound. Boston Robot Dog is currently able to speak because the engineers used ChatGPT‘s API and some open source large language models to train it. At the same time, engineers equipped the robot dog with speakers and added text-to-speech capabilities. The robot dog in the video uses a “British accent” to ask employees if they can start their journey and introduce the charging stations they are about to visit.
According to Matt Klingensmith, chief software engineer at Boston Dynamics, in order to achieve the aforementioned “tour guide” function, the team provided the robot dog with a very short script that involved information about every room in the company’s facility. The robot dog then combines the script with images from hardware such as cameras on its body, giving it more information about what it’s seeing before it reacts.
The Boston robot dog was able to achieve more than just “tour guide” this time, it can also chant lines such as “the generator sings in the room without joy, like my soul.” When asked at one point who the robot dog’s “parents” were, it pointed to an old robot dog on display in the office.
As previously reported by Integrated IT House, Boston Dynamics’ robot dogs have demonstrated a variety of skills, including somersault dancing, intelligent rerouting, parkour, and pouring beer. In December 2020, Hyundai Motor announced that it would acquire Boston Dynamics for $1 billion to become the parent company of Boston Dynamics.