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Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot has been taught to pee beer on command

Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot exists in two realities. In a single, it’s a of a dystopian future when robots hunt and kill people. Within the different, it’s the plaything of YouTubers who to “piss beer” on command.

The latter instance comes from the proficient, imaginative, piss-focused YouTuber Michael Reeves, who managed to get his palms on a unit earlier than utilizing his tech experience and soiled thoughts to flip Spot into the last word consuming buddy. With some fast code and some toes of tubing, Spot can establish cups on the ground, place itself over them, and launch a stream of piss beer into the awaiting receptacle. It’s the longer term Isaac Asimov might solely dream of.

As Reeves notes within the video, it’s hardly a elegant product. “Piss bot is working flawlessly. 35 % of the time,” he says. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless a fully wonderful factor to make.

Now, simply to put on my “I’m a journalist, and I like to overthink issues” hat for a second: what additionally fascinates me about this video is what it means for Boston Dynamics. This can be a agency that has beforehand labored to tightly management footage of its machines and their public reception. Since making Spot , although, it’s had to relinquish a few of this management, main to cases the place its equipment is utilized in methods it doesn’t approve of (like ). This contains non-jokey navy makes use of. Once we reported on the French military utilizing Spot in simulated fight workouts , Boston Dynamics advised us it was unaware these specific assessments had been being carried out (although it did know the French navy had entry to its machines). Is larger entry to Spot going to create extra issues for the corporate sooner or later?

Spot is certainly not simple to come up with. It prices $75,000 for one. Nevertheless it’s plainly rather more accessible than it was a 12 months in the past. That has the potential to not solely create PR complications for Boston Dynamics but in addition real enforcement points. How a lot visibility does the corporate have over its robots and the way they’re getting used? What occurs if somebody makes use of it within the unsuitable means? This doesn’t have to be malicious for folks to get harm. I, for one, cringed watching Reeves grapple with Spot by placing his palms inside the machine’s joints at across the 12-minute mark. These are known as “pinch factors” for a cause.

So proper now, Spot exists in two realities: as a menace and as a joke. What occurs if the road between them blurs?

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