"We Are Doomed": Boston Dynamics Teaches Terrifying Robodog New Tricks

About three months ago, we showed readers the SkyNet-like robots produced by Boston Dynamics, a DARPA funded company acquired by Google in 2013 (which is in the process of being sold to Japan’s Softbank), with a focus on a humanoid bipedal robot on social media performing frightfully humanoid jumps and backflips.

Since then, Boston Dynamics’ quadrupedal robotic dog called Spot Mini has picked up a new trick that could open the doors to some truly terrifying things. If you have watched the dystopian sci-fi series Black Mirror episode “Metalhead,” where a knife-wielding quadrupedal robotic dog runs around killing people, then Boston Dynamics’ newly redesigned Spot mini should be frightening for humanity:

The video shows the latest demonstration of its Spot Mini robot, hopelessly standing in front of a door, presumably in Boston Dynamics’ laboratories. About 12 seconds into the demonstration, another spot mini is seen coming around the corner with a robotic claw attached to its head. Spot Mini then moves back, giving the creepy robotic dog dubbed Big Dog, enough room to open the door, as Spot Mini proceeds into the next room.

TechCrunch called the video “impressive” and hints that Boston Dynamics has possibly made important advancements in advancing autonomous control systems, but questioned the authenticity of the video.

“The team behind the Big Dog proves that it’s still the master of viral robotic marketing, even after switching teams from Google to SoftBank. Three months after debuting a more streamlined version of its electronic Spot Mini, the company’s got another teaser, wherein one robot equipped with a head-mounted arm makes (relatively) quick work of a door, letting his pal waltz through.”

“The video’s impressive for both the agility of the arm itself, as well as the robot’s ability to maintain balance as it swings open what looks to be a fairly heavy door.”

“Like the last video, the teaser doesn’t offer a ton of insight into what’s new with the bumble bee-colored version of the company’s already announced robot. Last time out it appeared as though we got a preview of a pair of Kinect-style 3D cameras that could give a little more insight into the robot’s navigation system.”

“That tech seemed to hint at the possibility of an advanced autonomous control system. Given the brevity of the video, however, it’s tough to say whether someone’s controlling the ‘bots just out of frame. If the company managed to program Spot Mini to actually open the door on its own in order to help free its friend, well, perhaps it’s time to be concerned.”

The video promptly inspired a cascade of dystopian commentary about humanity’s impending demise:

Thanks, Boston Dynamics! We are doomed. http://flip.it/MDzIMP  (Our robot overlords Can now hunt us in packs. )

“Boston Dynamics is going to be the end of us all, and the last remaining humans will be wondering how we didn’t see it coming,” a Twitter user said.

“Honestly for like 8 years I’ve been watching videos of Boston Dynamics perfecting dog shaped future killing machines and its always framed like im supposed to applaud that it learned to hunt me a little better this month,” a long time observer of Boston Dynamics said.

One Twitter user made a good point, “What if Boston Dynamics’ and Magic Leap’s business model is just to make viral videos.”

Although Boston Dynamics’ bi-and quadrupedal robots appear to be years from the battlefield - or hunting humans in a post-apocalyptic environment - the Pentagon’s first step in making this dystopian dream become a reality is weaponizing autonomous systems on preexisting military vehicles. Recently, the Pentagon announced that it will be testing fully-autonomous "killer Humvees" this spring... which probably means that autonomous robo-killer units and dgs  - first used for war, then for anything else - can't be far behind.


Bubba Rum Das BaBaBouy Tue, 02/13/2018 - 21:13 Permalink

Gee, dangerous robotic dog's, huh?

I wonder how well a million dollar pack of them would hold up to an AK 12 gauge shotgun w/ a 25 round drum mag w/ alternating rounds of slugs & buckshot???

Boy, that would be a fast million down the toilet...


In reply to by BaBaBouy

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 ThanksChump Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:53 Permalink

It could be cool when hiking if it can go up hills and carry stuff. The big problem when SHTF is water. Water is fricking heavy. Not fun to carry. Same for fuel. maybe you could get fuel pods / water pods with legs attached. I would like one that can carry firewood. Slice the wood, stack it, carry it inside and sweep up all the little bits that always fall off and mess up the floor! Will these have fuel cells? It would be nice to have one that has a fuel cell that could last 100 years.

In reply to by ThanksChump

NoDebt BaBaBouy Tue, 02/13/2018 - 21:14 Permalink

"But you can't kill us, we created you!" will be the future equivalent of the current "But, I was promised!" movement.  The commonality will be, of course, that both of them are dead meat.




In reply to by BaBaBouy

Oldwood NoDebt Tue, 02/13/2018 - 21:39 Permalink

We are so fucking lazy we will happily live under their domination as long as they feed us and wipe our ass.....which will prove a dramatically short period of time. You can't impose intelligence to any entity without putting humanity a threat.

Our proof is in the fact of those we have already empowered over us and they don't even open the door for us.

In reply to by NoDebt

tmosley Pure Evil Tue, 02/13/2018 - 21:33 Permalink

Exactly. I can't wait for the biped version with at least two arms that can do chores. A lot of people would be willing to pay $10K or more for such a robot that could do light housework and last more than a couple of years.

In reply to by Pure Evil

gigadeath Pinto Currency Tue, 02/13/2018 - 20:52 Permalink

MAGRAV (magnetogravitics, for the laymen out there) will be just as dangerous if not a greater danger in the wrong hands than AI. A tool is an extension of the wielder, and those wielding power and technology are abusing it to hurt the most vulnerable in society. Think human trafficking, pizzagate, child sacrifice. If these people are in control by the singularity, the human race is in serious serious trouble. AI combined with magnetogravitics is a weapon more fearsome than the atom bomb, or an angel that heals the planet. Simple as that.  

In reply to by Pinto Currency

Bubba Rum Das gigadeath Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:12 Permalink

Electro/Magneto Gravitics has been demonstrated to be a projection of ion particles....
More dangerous than a maser, indeed; but also needing a very large power supply; and also dangerous to the operator as they have not yet figured out a way to shield the operator himself from the effects yet w/ portable shielding...

But, I can build a weapons grade maser using the magnetrons from two high output commercial microwave ovens & using a custom wave guide & a custom power supply; which can do devastating damage to your organic & electronic targets...

In reply to by gigadeath

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 gigadeath Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:59 Permalink

I am still reading "Demon in the Freezer" and there is nothing scarier that the idea that the USSR made thousands of tons of weaponized smallpox and no one is vaccinated (unless you work in a bioweapon lab or for the CDC). The old stocks are unstable. I can't imagine a more horrific way to die than to die of blisters that mean your skin falls off and leaves you in a state like a burn patient. That stuff is still out there and no one has a fucking clue. Or too few people, I ought to say.

In reply to by gigadeath