“We hope you have an uplifting holiday season!” says the robotics team in a post accompanying the 90-second sketch, adding, “Spot was remotely controlled by professional operators, don’t try this at home.”
The video shows Spot 1 wearing a big red bow that he clearly wants to place on top of the Christmas tree. But even when it’s fully extended and using its robotic arm, Spot 1 can’t get that high.
Enter Spot 2 and Spot 3, which arrange themselves into a sort of platform onto which Spot 1 climbs. Spots 2 and 3 then extend their legs to their full reach, bringing the top of the tree within reach of Spot 1.
The robot then uses its arm to grab hold of the bow before gently placing it in the top of the tree.
It’s an impressive demonstration of Spot’s versatility and also a disturbing example of how robots can work together to achieve a goal. However, anyone fearing a Spot Rebellion should definitely watch the entire video, as the surprise ending suggests that any kind of takeover by this particular robot won’t get very far (at least not yet).
Despite the disastrous ending, Spot is clearly an impressive package. Indeed, since 2020, Boston Dynamics has been marketing the machine to companies that want to use it to automate tasks such as inspections, monitoring and mapping.
Auto giant Ford trialled the robot dog early onusing it to scan one of its production plants, which can change over time without being documented.
Ford officials were impressed with Spot’s ability to handle stairs and uneven terrain, as well as the speed at which it operated.