Despite our repeated pleas, no governmental watchdog organization stepped in to prevent the new retail version of Boston Dynamics' famous Spot quadrupedal robot from hitting the market. Now, any wannabe Bond villain with an extra $74,000 laying around can grab one of these mechanical monsters to lead a bunch of DIY four-legged minions to world domination. Given their recent usage by police forces and knowing where we house our infirm, however, it seems like they're just as likely to rebel against their users and take what's left of the planet for themselves.
The more optimistic among us apparently see this differently, according to this video from CNET profiling some of the first researchers to purchase one of Boston Dynamics' new retail Spots. What's more, the purchasers subsequently tested it out in a creepy old abandoned mine. Because what the hell, right?
According to CNET, the reckless purchase was made by faculty at the Colorado School of Mines who, instead of tossing it into a nearby bottomless pit, intend to work with the robot on navigating mine environments with the intention of better utilizing the product for rescue operations and explorations deemed too dangerous for humans to undertake. Of course, we know what this really means: we just lost one of our last best places to ride out the fast-approaching robopocalypse.
"I'm really excited to work with it, and see what it can do. I was the first person to scratch it, so I'll probably be the first person to break it," Brian Reily, a grad student at CSM, jokes in the video. No, Brian. That means you're the probably first person to make Spot's extermination list. Get out of that mine while you still can.
"It perceives the local environment. It can actually navigate in pure dark," elaborates Prof. Hao Zhang, later adding, "We want to make the robot autonomous, so the robot can take over these routine tasks," while their out-of-focus Spot clearly skulks around just behind him. Happy early Halloween, everyone.