Spot the robot dog rose to fame thanks to viral videos of him dancing, delivering sneakers, and even raising sheep. But civil liberties groups fear the quadrupeds could also be militarized.
A new game aims to highlight the dangers of the Boston Dynamics bot by arming it with a paintball gun and dropping it in a gallery – and giving you the controls.
The project is the brainchild of MSCHF (pronounced “mischief”), a group of pranksters whose previous inventions include an app that recommends actions for your astrological sign.
[Read: How do you build a pet-friendly gadget? We asked experts and animal owners]
The Brooklyn-based collective said it has now created “Spot’s Rampage” to draw attention to the robot’s deadly abilities:
Spot is an empathetic missile, shaped like man’s best friend and targeted directly at our fight or flight instinct. When killer robots arrive in America, they will be wrapped in fur, carrying a bullet … Everyone in this world takes a look at the adorable little Spot and knows it: this thing will definitely be used by the police and the military to murder people.
MSCHF’s track record (and name) suggests that some surprises will be in store when the rampage begins on February 24 at 1 p.m. EST. But the concept seems both cathartic and vaguely uplifting.
The group says people who download the MSCHF app will be able to control Spot remotely from their phones. Every two minutes the controls will be changed to a new one random viewer of the livestream.
Boston Dynamics told TechCrunch that it initially considered working on the project, but backed down after discovering the paintball gun.
The company tweeted that the game “fundamentally distorts Spot and how it’s used to enjoy everyday life.”
– Boston Dynamics (@BostonDynamics) February 20, 2021
The company’s irritation is not surprising. Boston Dynamics has previously been criticized for securing funding from military research agency DARPA and letting police test Spot. This would clearly prefer people to focus on the potential societal benefits of robots.
However, public denunciation will only bring more attention to a game that I think is a lot of fun. I just hope you don’t have any unpleasant surprises in store for you.
Published February 23, 2021 – 19:22 UTC
Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from thenextweb.com