Dystopian robot dog that enforces social distancing now on sale to the public
World News

Dystopian robot dog that enforces social distancing now on sale to the public

People who have been left isolated without a companion or pet during lockdown can now opt to snap up a robotic dog from Boston Dynamics – but, it won’t come cheap.

The US firm announced its yellow robo dog “Spot” is now up for sale for a whopping $74,500 (£59,346).

Boston Dynamics has gained a lot of attention for the four-legged robot, which can perform several tasks such as climbing stairs, running and even telling people to maintain social distancing during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It also clocks up and impressive 5.2 feet per second, has cameras that enable it to see 360 degrees and is waterproof.

The announcement on Tuesday means the pooch – that had exclusively been used by businesses and research facilities – is now available for the public to buy.



A spokesman for the company said: “At Boston Dynamics, we have spent decades creating and refining robots with advanced mobility, dexterity and intelligence because we believe agile robots can solve a broad range of real-world problems.

“The combination of Spot’s sophisticated software and high-performance mechanical design enables the robot to augment difficult or dangerous human work.”

Spot was first introduced in a 2015 video that garnered 7.3million views.

In the following years, the robot pooch was taught how to twerk and moonwalk and even received sympathy from online users after researchers uploaded footage of them kicking it in order to show off its balance.



It comes as employers turn to robots to fill potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be left vacant following the coronavirus pandemic.

Bars have been seen considering using robot waiters to serve and take orders while farmers have considered using the automatons to carry out seasonal work.



The potentially-difference work landscape has led some experts to fear that living with robots could lead humans to become desensitised and more violent.

Dr Kate Darling, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, said: “It’s interesting to think about what does people’s behaviour for these things mean for our own behaviour.

“Is it desensitising to be ­verbally ­abusive to a robot or physically abusive?

“We don’t know. One of my main interests is people treat robots like living things, even though they know they are interacting with a machine, and what it means in that context to behave violently.”

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Pat Reaves
Pat Reaves writes for our World News section. Having spent his youth traveling from one country to another, Pat has incurred an education that is truly international in culture, academia, and language. His quick thinking and spontaneity has landed him in the sector where stories happen without any warning. He is an extremely patient and nurturing writer who lets a story take its course without interference and prejudice.

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