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Had enough dystopia yet? Boston Dynamics puts its robot dog ‘Spot’ up FOR SALE

Had enough dystopia yet? Boston Dynamics puts its robot dog ‘Spot’ up FOR SALE
Thought 2020 couldn’t get any more dystopian? You thought wrong. Boston Dynamics has announced that it’ll now sell its ‘Black Mirror’-esque robot dog, Spot, to anyone willing to plump up the cash.

A global pandemic, worldwide lockdowns and a wave of rioting have thus far made this an eventful year. Now, Boston Dynamics is throwing its latest quadruped robot into the mix. Affectionately named ‘Spot,’ the robot dog is billed as a multipurpose “mobility platform” that can be outfitted with a range of sensors and programmed to patrol anywhere a human can go, or beyond.

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‘Spot’ raised eyebrows when it appeared in Singapore last month, patrolling a public park and ordering civilians to obey social distancing measures. Previously, it’s been used to map construction sites and trialed as a bomb-defusing bot by police in the US.

As of Tuesday, any US company with $74,000 to spare can adopt their very own Spot. That’s a walking robot for the price of a base model Tesla Model S, or a few thousand dollars more than the average wage for a police officer in the US.

Critics, naturally, are opposed to the use of robot dogs by law enforcement and military organizations. Responding to their worries, a Boston Dynamics spokesman told the Verge that the company will prohibit the robot being used to “harm or intimidate” people. Yet with the killer potential for such robots depicted in a terrifying episode of ‘Black Mirror,’ Spot’s existence will likely leave skeptics nervous.

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Spot isn’t the only robot creature in the works at Boston Dynamics’ workshop. Last year, the company revealed the dazzling athleticism of a bipedal, humanoid robot named Atlas. As one commentator at the time quipped, “they won’t just be able to destroy us, but now they will also be fabulous while doing it.”

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