Enjoy the Nightmare Fuel as Robot Dog Opens a Door
In Boston Dynamics’ latest attempt to haunt your dreams, the robotic researchers have released a video where a robot dog opens a door and walks right into your nightmares.
No. Just… just no. Look, we like to joke around a bit when it comes to the increasingly complex robots being developed by Boston Dynamics and other robotics researchers. Videos of Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot walking untethered through the woods and doing backflips are impressive, and yet ripe for the old “we welcome our robotic overlords” joke. And while it is genuinely a bit freaky, it also isn’t really a call for alarm (yet). Boston Dynamics’ latest video, however, is just unsettling.
In a clip released via YouTube, Boston Dynamics shows its latest trick – a robotic dog that can identify things like closed doors, and then use a fifth appendage to open them. The video has the adorable title “Hey Buddy, Can You Give Me a Hand?” And while it’s impressive to see how far robotics has come, it is deeply disturbing on several levels.
The robots in the video are known as “Spot Minis,” and they are described as “A nimble robot that handles objects, climbs stairs, and will operate in offices, homes and outdoors.” What the market-friendly tag is neglecting to mention is that Spot Mini is a descendant of Boston Dynamics’ earlier robotic quadruped known a “BigDog,” a larger, but similar looking robot that was designed under the eye of DARPA, the Pentagon’s mad science department. So basically, the mechanical abomination below that can now open doors and walk right into your worst dreams is part of a family of robots designed for use by the military.
Not quite as cool to see it when you consider that we are probably just a few years away from modified versions of these robotic dogs being unleashed on a battlefield with search and destroy orders.
Is that a little paranoid? Maybe. But if videogames have taught us anything, it’s that there are usually cool and useful things in wooden crates. If they have taught us two things, it’s that small, powerful, armored things running at you are a pain in the ass to deal with. Just saying.