Video of a Boston Dynamics Spot robot dog apparently wandering a city street on its own has struck terror into the hearts of social media users — though some defended the ‘bot, pointing out humans can hurt each other without help.
A Canadian Twitter user posted video of the four-legged yellow robot ambling down the sidewalk on Thursday, though it’s not clear where it was actually filmed. The person taking the footage, though initially startled, opts for a friendly approach, addressing the quadruped with “Hello friend!”
guys look who i saw out on da street!!!:) pic.twitter.com/rPczxbWAkL
— ✨ nathan (@bIoodtear) September 25, 2020
The dog-bot turns toward the cameraperson and appears to snap a photo before walking away.
Boston Dynamics’ robot dogs have been deployed in Singapore to enforce social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, and some US police departments have acquired their own, causing consternation among civil liberties groups. However, the four-legged model has been available to the public since June for anyone with $74,500 to buy one, meaning this particular Spot might have belonged to a private citizen.
The clip polarized social media users, many of whom were filled with horror at the sight of the seemingly autonomous metal canine. “Shoot on sight,” one said succinctly.
seeing a video of a Boston Dynamics robot actually out in public has filled me with dread. we can't let this continue. https://t.co/huTWZvxuVa
— Jane (@JaneOst_) September 25, 2020