A Boston Dynamics Robot Is Being Weaponized, And You Can Control It

By Ross Bonaime | 2 months ago

Boston Dynamics Spot

Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot is a customizable robot dog of sorts that can react to human interaction, move up and down stairs, and through a horrific new robot arm, can work together with other Spot robots and even pick up items. It’s only a matter of time before Spot takes us over, walking all humans on leashes and making us their pets. Now, the MSCHF Product Studio is arming Spot robots, and letting random users control the weaponized version of Spot.

Scheduled for today, users of the MSCHF App could visit the Spot’s Rampage website, where viewers can watch a Boston Dynamics-created Spot robot equipped with a paintball gun shoot up an art gallery. Control of the armed Spot is changed to a random viewer every two minutes, who can reign havoc on the gallery. Thankfully, the gallery is fully set up for this event, and this space is being used for this specific purpose. It’s not like users are able to go destroy priceless artwork through an armed robot dog.

The MSCHF Product Studio is described as a “group of 10 offbeat creatives based in a small office in Brooklyn. Previously, the company has made Jesus shoes, which are customized $1,425 Nike shoes with soles filled with holy water from the River Jordan, Puff the Squeaky Chicken, a bong shaped like a chicken that squawks when you smoke it, a top for the Amazon Alexa that jams the microphone, and a bath bomb shaped like a toaster. In their new “art installation,” MSCHF says of Boston Dynamics’ Spot, “Everyone in this world takes one look at cute little Spot and knows: this thing will definitely be used by police and the military to murder people.” MSCHF is just helping speed up that process!

While MSCHF clearly has a sense of humor about their projects, Boston Dynamics isn’t a fan. In a post on Twitter, the company stated that MSCHF’s art project “fundamentally misrepresents Spot and how it is being used to benefit our daily lives.” With Spot’s Rampage having already occurred, however, it seems that Boston Dynamics’ problem with the event didn’t stop them from letting it go on.

But it seems like this might be just the beginning of MSCHF’s adventures with Spot. In their frequently asked questions in the Spot’s Rampage page, the group says that they will not be doing another game, but they say “Spot may be back” and that they “can’t say too much just yet.” As for who “won” this game, MSCHF says “we’re all winners in our hearts,” while the loser of the game is “the human race, when remote-operated dogs of war become commonplace.”

Yet for anyone with a few thousand dollars to spend, you too can take a Boston Dynamics Spot robot and arm it with a paintball gun. MSCHF says the device cost $74,500 and was attached with a Tippman 98 Custom Paintball Gun. While Boston Dynamics isn’t a fan of this type of use for their Spot dog, it is kind of terrifying that this can be done with this robot dog in the first place. 

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