The four-legged Boston Dynamics robots that inspired a post-apocalyptic “Black Mirror” episode are making the viral video rounds again. But not everyone is reacting warmly to the so-called display of robot camaraderie.
A video titled, “Hey Buddy, Can You Give Me a Hand?” was released on YouTube Monday, showing two of Boston Dynamics’ dog-like SpotMinis. One of the robots tries to open a door, then another comes along and reaches for the handle with a long claw that extends from its body, grips the handle, and makes way for its robot “buddy.”
By 6 p.m. Monday, the video had already been viewed nearly 130,000 times. A previous video of a SpotMini got more than 10 million views.
According to Boston Dynamics’ website, the SpotMini weighs about 55 pounds and is fueled by a rechargeable electric battery. The arm seen reaching for the door is designed to pick up and handle objects using perception sensors.
Some people call the robots “cute” or “brilliant,” but others are terrified, wondering when the bots will turn violent.
“Well... I guess humans are obsolete now,” one commenter on Youtube said. “They’re coming to murder us,” said another.
Others pointed out the robots’ similarity to the “Black Mirror” episode called “Metalhead.” The show’s creator told Entertainment Weekly in an interview that the episode was, indeed, inspired by the Boston Dynamics robots.
Still, some people were more lighthearted. They just wanted to know when the robots can make our lives easier.
“So when can I purchase the robot butler model??” one commenter said.
Boston Dynamics could not be reached immediately for comment.
In another artificial intelligence development Monday, MIT announced that it had developed drones that can weave swiftly through cluttered spaces as if they were Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia on their “speeder bikes” in the forest in the movie “Return of the Jedi.”Laney Ruckstuhl can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @laneyruckstuhl.