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What we know about the robot making news on TikTok

Image source: Bostondynamics.com 3 mins read

A video circulating on social media showing three four-legged robots walking across the streets accompanied by three men has got TikTok users discussing the realness or otherwise of the dog-like robots seen in the video. The video has since garnered 2.4M likes, 255.7 shares, and 48.5K comments insinuating the weaponization of the said robots.

Some TikTok users have expressed concern about why there is a need for robots, while others have said that movies like I, Robot, and Black mirror were prophetic and that the world is about to experience what happened in those movies.

C:\Users\HP\Downloads\WhatsApp Image 2021-10-27 at 12.17.45 PM(1).jpeg
Images: Screenshots of comments from TikTok video

The video is accompanied by the text,

“The end is near. #foryou #ForYouPizza #fyp #irobot #theend #pups”

The robots seen in the video are actually in existence. They are products of a US-based technology firm called Boston Dynamics. Boston dynamics is aimed at creating exceptional robots to enrich the lives of people. The company is mainly into four-legged robots because they focus on robots with advanced mobility, dexterity, and intelligence. The designs of Boston Dynamics are designed and perfected in Waltham, Massachusetts, and made in the United States.

The robot featured in the trending video is called the Spot which appears to look like a dog and thus has the pseudo name “digidog” which was made and launched in 2019. The Spot comes in two different models; The Spot Explorer and The Spot Enterprise. It can also be customized per clients’ requests. 

Boston Dynamics operates within the guidelines of the United States Denied Entities List and does not sell to individuals and companies. It also has ethics and terms and conditions which prohibits users from using it to hurt people, or worse off weaponizing it. Any breaches of the terms and conditions would mean the termination of the products, in this case, the robot (Spot), the warranty, any updates for the robot, servicing, repair, or even the possibility of replacement. Their products are only sold to commercial, industrial, enterprise, and university research. 

Meanwhile, Boston has an array of clients from construction, tech, and even the police.

In early 2021, the New York Police Department (NYPD) ordered the Spot which costs $74, 500.00. They are described as useful, efficient, and lifesavers. It was reported to be able to get remote visibility into potentially dangerous situations where policemen couldn’t get into.  However, it received backlash from the citizens and was considered as a new way of police brutality for poor communities. The New York City Council, upon submitting a subpoena to the NYPD, had the contract between the tech giants Boston Dynamics and the NYPD terminated. 

Conclusion

These robots have been in existence since 2019 and Boston Dynamics was established in 1992 and has since been creating robots with their shareholders, Hyundai Motors and SoftBank. This has nothing to do with end times or any related destruction.

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