I Tested Boston Dynamics' Robot Dog

The truth about Boston Dynamics’ famous robot dog
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You might think you already know Spot, the robot dog from Boston Dynamics. Maybe you saw a viral video of it opening a door, or dragging a truck, or dancing. But now, this robot has hit a HUGE milestone… Spot got a job!

These robots are now out in the real world doing real work, for fire departments, factories, defunct nuclear power plants like Fukushima, ancient ruins like Pompeii, deep mines, and, more controversially, police departments. You might already be starting to see robot dogs walking around, and even if you’re not, they’re starting to affect your life.

That’s why we went to visit Boston Dynamics. In this video, we put Spot to the test, to show you what it’s really capable of, and how our future could be even better with robot dogs.

Chapters:
00:00 What is Boston Dynamics robot dog?
1:33 What does Boston Dynamics robot dog do?
2:50 Why robot dogs?
3:32 Taking Spot on an obstacle course
4:33 When Spot falls down
5:34 How Spot protects itself and others
6:45 What equipment does Spot use?
7:20 How Boston Dynamics robot dog opens doors
8:05 Spot at Fukushima
8:29 Boston Dynamics robot dog working for the police
9:12 Concerns with weaponizing robot dogs
10:10 What should robot dogs be used for?
10:44 Why robot dogs are huge if true
11:43 Duh nah nah Inspector Spot

Additional reading and watching:
– Spot opening a door: https://youtu.be/fUyU3lKzoio?si=R3sqRkR1-gTtTQpZ
– Spots dragging a truck: https://youtu.be/OnWolLQSZic?si=eqzSldnpVjm-pZbC
– Spot using its arm: https://youtu.be/6Zbhvaac68Y?si=6oCZjdtjdFtuPqFj
– Spot with ChatGPT: https://youtu.be/djzOBZUFzTw?si=JbY7aJne7rCeIxII
– Spot dancing to BTS: https://youtu.be/7atZfX85nd4?si=JI6W0Gw35CEIB0YF
– Spot on the job launch video: https://youtu.be/wlkCQXHEgjA?si=Q6tmOHzUSasG6I97
– Fukushima case study, BD: https://bostondynamics.com/case-studies/spot-in-fukushima-daiichi/
– New York Police Department case study and concerns, NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/25/nyregion/digidog-robot-nypd.html
– Boston Dynamics anti-weaponization statement, BD: https://bostondynamics.com/news/general-purpose-robots-should-not-be-weaponized/
– Overview of robot recent history, NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/20/technology/chatbots-turing-test.html
– MKBHD Dope Tech: Boston Dynamics Robot Dog: https://youtu.be/s6_azdBnAlU?si=1ELLNHGtnXej–dF
– Tom Scott, “An actual real-world use for robot dogs”: https://youtu.be/PkW9wx7Kbws?si=DUiIm9NR4DAxQNuX

Bio:
Cleo Abram is an Emmy-nominated independent video journalist. On her show, Huge If True, Cleo explores complex technology topics with rigor and optimism, helping her audience understand the world around them and see positive futures they can help build. Before going independent, Cleo was a video producer for Vox. She wrote and directed the Coding and Diamonds episodes of Vox’s Netflix show, Explained. She produced videos for Vox’s popular YouTube channel, was the host and senior producer of Vox’s first ever daily show, Answered, and was co-host and producer of Vox’s YouTube Originals show, Glad You Asked.

You can find me on TikTok here for short, fun tech explainers: https://www.tiktok.com/@cleoabram
You can find me on Instagram here for more personal stories: https://www.instagram.com/cleoabram
You can find me on Twitter here for thoughts, threads and curated news: https://twitter.com/cleoabram

Vox: https://www.vox.com/authors/cleo-abram
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Gear I use:
Camera: Sony A7SIII
Lens: Sony 16–35 mm F2.8 GM and 35mm prime
Audio: Sennheiser SK AVX
Music: Tom Fox and Musicbed

Follow along for more episodes of Huge If True: https://www.youtube.com/cleoabram?sub_confirmation=1


Welcome to the joke down low:

What do you get when you cross a dog with a calculator?
A best friend you can count on!

Use “best friend” in a comment to let me know you’re a real one who made it to the end of the description 🙂