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‘Shoot on sight’: Boston Dynamics robot dog spotted out on city street triggers fear — and defensiveness

Also on rt.com

FILE PHOTO: Boston Dynamics' Spot robot walks on stage while developer Marc Raibert speaks at a TechCrunch conference in San Francisco, California.
Had enough dystopia yet? Boston Dynamics puts its robot dog ‘Spot’ up FOR SALE

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.

Many commented on Spot’s disarmingly cute appearance. “I hate this but I also kinda wanna sit on top of its back & go for a ride,” one user tweeted.

More than a few were reminded of the Black Mirror episode “Metalhead” — literally inspired by Boston Dynamics’ products — in which armed and extremely persistent robot dogs hunt and kill humans in a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Spot’s defenders noted humans were already capable of doing plenty of damage without bringing robots into it, and insisted the technology should be embraced.

However, others more familiar with Spot’s military origins (and concepts like drone warfare) predicted the dogs would be armed and dangerous in no time.

Beneath its weirdly cute exterior, Spot contains advanced military technology. Its predecessor, the Big Dog, was unveiled in 2005 as a sort of pack mule capable of carrying equipment over unstable terrain and developed in partnership with NASA, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). However, the Big Dog was deemed too loud for combat and — supposedly — shelved.

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