Boston Dynamics robot dog, Spot, has been adored by the internet ever since it was made available for purchase in 2020. It is arguably one of the company’s most loved creations, with most people considering the robot to be somewhat cute, compared to Boston Dynamics’ other creations.
There is however one surefire way to make Spot look significantly more intimidating, simply attach a gun to its back that can be remotely fired. This is exactly what MSCHF, a company known for pulling off viral stunts has done, although it is all being done in the name of art.
The latest stunt by MSCHF, aptly named ‘Spot’s Rampage’, will see the company attach a paintball gun to Spots’ back and then let anyone with an internet connection control the quadruped robot via their smartphone.
As part of the performance art piece, each person will get two minutes to control Spot and make it do whatever they want, which includes firing the paintball gun. In terms of how people are selected, MSCHF will randomly pick anyone who logged into their site during the performance art piece.
Boston Dynamics’ robot dog is now armed—in the name of art. A group called MSCHF gave Spot a paintball gun and plan to let others remotely control it inside an art gallery.
— WIRED (@WIRED) February 23, 2021
As you would imagine, attaching a gun, albeit a paintball gun, to the back of a highly advanced robot has raised a few eyebrows, including those of Boston Dynamics, the company behind the quadruped robot. In response to hearing about MSCHF’s latest stunt, Boston Dynamics quickly took to Twitter to distance themselves from the event.
The company wrote in a statement, “We condemn the portrayal of our technology in any way that promotes violence, harm, or intimidation.”
They then went on to say, “Proactive art can helo push useful dialogue about the role of technology in our daily lives. This art, however, fundamentally misrepresents Spot and how it is being used to benefit our daily lives.”
— Boston Dynamics (@BostonDynamics) February 20, 2021
This response only motivated MSCHF to go through with its event. The company did however warn those interested in taking part in the art show that Spot might suddenly become unresponsive, which suggests that Boston Dynamics might back door into Spots security system despite MSCHF having full ownership of the robot.
Along with being an interesting performance art piece, Spot’s Rampage is also a social commentary on how individuals or organisations could potentially use robots like Spot in the future to cause harm or abuse.
Spot’s Rampage is a one-day event and will take place on 24 February at around 20:00 GMT+2. You can take part in the event by clicking here.