Gadgets for humans

Benefitting from Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot — a guide for evil companies

Nefarious? Bet your cashmere suit we are.

header image boston dynamics spot robot

Oh ho ho, put out your cigar, wipe off your top hat, and raise your feet off the crooked back of your workers, we’ve got some news. Yes, your business can finally buy a Boston Dynamics Spot robot.

Give me a moment — I’m rubbing my hands together in a totally normal, not creepy at all, gleeful manner.

Details: for the very acceptable price of $74,500, your company could be in possession of its very own four-legged, mechanical hell-hound. And, boy, the Spot robot truly is the four-legged, mechanical hell-hound.

Stairs? No problem. Steps? Please. Ropes? Well, okay, it can’t deal with those, but you can’t have everything. I guess you’ll have to keep your hired goons for a bit longer.

So, CEO Moneybags, you want a Spot robot? Of course you do! But if you’re gonna actually get that budget approved, you need to build a case for why your company needs it.

Well, we’re here to help. We’ve created a selection of reasons you can stitch together to make your pitch. Good luck!

  • Boston Dynamics‘ Spot robot can make a 3D map of an area by itself(-ish).
  • Human spines are weak and ineffective, robot spines are strong and repairable.
  • The Spot can have attachments. You cannot replace a person’s eyes — no matter how much they get on their knees and beg you in court — meaning you’ll have to part with a lot of cash.

boston dynamics spot robot

  • If humans inspire a low sense of dread in employees, it becomes a HR issue. If the Spot robot does so, it’s merely an unavoidable side effect.
  • A union generally requires people to operate. Robots? No unions.
  • Don’t like the way the Spot robot is looking at you? Just turn the damn thing off.
  • There’s literally nothing the robot will do if you give its rear-end a cheerful, playful squeeze. In fact, you might be able to program it so it goes “ooohhh naughty boy” whenever you do this.
  • Food costs more money than power.
  • When pushed over, the Spot robot is able to get back to its terrifying feet. And, no matter what Chumbawamba say, not all people get back up again. You know what that means? Lawsuits.
  • It’s harder than you think to create workers so dedicated to you they’d chase down dissenters and deal with them in a cold, mechanical way.

Combine some of these and, BOOM, surefire win.

What’s that? Boston Dynamics‘ Michael Perry — the vice president of business development — told the Verge  they won’t allow any “weapon attachments and no use cases that can ‘harm or intimidate’ people.” Yet nowhere mentions all the military funding the company has received?

No need to worry! This is actually a good thing for you, my bourgeois pal.

Once you’ve bought it, Boston Dynamics won’t actually bother you about what you’re doing with your adorable guard bot/human replacement. Unless, of course, you get press coverage.

At this point, they’ll step onto a stage next to a friendly-looking Spot robot: “Would you blame Apple if a terrorist used an iPhone?” They’d say. “No, of course not. So why blame us for the heaps of mangled human bodies clogging up the drains outside these factories?”

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Published June 17, 2020 — 13:46 UTC

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