Santa Claus is coming to town, pulled by robot reindeer. But is that a promise, or a threat?
To celebrate the holidays, Boston Dynamics put out a video that brings a Futurama nightmare to life. The 28-second clip shows the company’s four-legged Spot bots fronting a sleigh as it trundles over a snow-free lawn. But instead of a death-dealing Robot Santa Claus, a smiling Ms. Claus is holding the reins.
“Happy holidays, from Boston Dynamics!” she says with a wave.
There’s a deliciously dark side to this slice of holiday cheer: First of all, Boston Dynamics (which was purchased by Google a couple of years ago) is working on Spot and other bio-inspired robots for use on future battlefields.
Then there’s the fact that seeing robots that move like dogs, or cheetahs, or humans is eerie at best … and Terminator-level scary at worst. Putting antlers on the darn things definitely does not help.
Tons of twitterers had fun with the fear factor, which brings new meaning to the phrase “You Better Watch Out.” Here’s a sampling:
— Rachel Feltman (@RachelFeltman) December 23, 2015
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) December 22, 2015
“An early warning sign of a holiday-themed Judgement Day robot takeover.” https://t.co/1WDQ1Ui5RJ
— Stephen Fleming (@StephenFleming) December 22, 2015
— Daphne Lamb (@Daphne_Lamb) December 23, 2015
I, for one, welcome our new robo-reindeer overlords.