Daniel Greenberg, a member of MSCHF, claims there’s a serious side to Spot’s Rampage though. “Anytime you see a TikTok or a dance it's like, ‘Oh God, Spot is so happy,’” Greenberg says. “But if we actually talk candidly about what it’s going to be used for in the real world, you could say it's police, you could say it's military.”
Needless to say, Boston Dynamics isn’t very happy. The company tweeted on Friday: “We condemn the portrayal of our technology in any way that promotes violence, harm, or intimidation. Our mission is to create and deliver surprisingly capable robots that inspire, delight and positively impact society.”
Boston Dynamics has spent decades developing robots that balance dynamically—that is by constantly moving—in order to traverse difficult terrain. The technology, which emerged from academia, was developed with funding from Darpa for more than a decade before Google acquired it in 2013. Boston Dynamics was sold to Softbank in 2017, and it was acquired by Hyundai in 2020. The company began selling Spot for $74,500 in 2019.
For internet-goers, Boston Dynamics is that company that uploads insane videos of the humanoid Atlas robot doing backflips, of four-legged SpotMini opening doors and fighting off stick-wielding men, and as of last week, of a Segway-on-mescaline called Handle jetting around picking up and stacking boxes with a vacuum as its arm.