SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The robotics division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has released a new video of a robotic dog getting upended by strategically-placed banana peels.

Boston Dynamics has built a number of animal-inspired robots which are designed to move over obstacles and maneuver through ice, snow and hilly terrain. The robots can conceivably carry military payloads into combat zones, among other uses, but are still in the research and development stage.

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Part of the development is placing figurative land mines in their path and seeing how the robots are able to adapt. Videos on the Boston Dynamics YouTube page of humans kicking or knocking into the robots are widely shared for their weirdness and creepy factor.

In the latest video, the robot named SpotMini, falls hard onto the floor after hitting the banana peel, but deftly rights itself with its utility arm and carries on no worse for wear.

Earlier this year, Alphabet was reported to be looking to sell Boston Dynamics over concerns the robotics company turning a profit soon was unlikely, given that it will be at least several years before the company is manufacturing a marketable product.


Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.