By Anna Iovine
You may have heard of Spot, the robot dog made by robotics company Boston Dynamics. While Spot was designed to help humans, the reality of a metal hound — that can walk lockstep in an army of their robotic brothers, no less — is terrifying. Regardless, capitalism has prevailed and last summer, Boston Dynamics made Spot available for sale at the low, low price of $75,000.
MSCHF, the group behind viral stunts like Finger On The App and Walt’s Kitchen, decided to buy a Spot. Naturally, they attached a paintball gun to their metal pup, plopped him in an art gallery with shootable and climbable objects, and created a game: Spot’s Rampage.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24 beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET, you’ll have a chance to control Spot yourself for two minutes. Here’s how it’ll work: Go to the Spot’s Rampage website from your phone. Enter Controller Mode to view a livestream of Spot and type your name into a pool. MSCHF will randomly select players every two minutes.
If you’re selected, you’ll be prompted to accept a turn. If you don’t accept your turn in 10 seconds, it’ll go to another player.
“See Spot KILL!! Spot is an empathy building tool, because: Cute and approachable! We talked with Boston Dynamics and they HATED this idea,” the manifesto reads.
MSCHF spoke with Boston Dynamics who, unsurprisingly, weren’t fans of the idea. As stated in the game’s manifesto, they offered MSCHF two free Spots — $150,000 worth of creepy robots — to take off the paintball gun.
“That just made us want to do this even more,” the manifesto said, with a warning of what could happen during gameplay: “If our Spot stops working just know they [Boston Dynamics] have a backdoor override built into each and every one of these little robots.”
Attempting to get ahead of the stunt, Boston Dynamics released this statement Friday evening on Twitter.
MSCHF gave me a chance to demo Spot’s Rampage and reader, it was fun. A couple minutes into it, I attempted to have Spot scale a wall of Brillo boxes when he…took a tumble:
That was the end of my game, as MSCHF had to reset the immobilized Spot. May you have better luck in Spot’s Rampage on Wednesday.
The full manifesto can be read below:
See Spot Run. It tops out at a blistering 3mph.
See Spot Roll Over. Spot is an empathy missile, shaped like man’s best friend and targeted straight at our fight or flight instinct. When killer robots come to America they will be wrapped in fur, carrying a ball. Spot is Rob Rhinehart’s ideal pet: it never shits.
Good Boy, Spot! Everyone in this world takes one look at cute little Spot and knows: this thing will definitely be used by police and the military to murder people. And what do police departments have? Strong unions! Spot is employee of the month. You never need to union bust a robot – but a robot can union bust you.
See Spot KILL!! Spot is an empathy building tool, because: Cute and approachable! We talked with Boston Dynamics and they HATED this idea. They said they would give us another TWO Spots for FREE if we took the gun off. That just made us want to do this even more and if our Spot stops working just know they have a backdoor override built into each and every one of these little robots.
See Spot Fall Over And Freak Out. Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave. Our saving grace: Spot is evil but not very good at its job.