The problem with making cool robots is that, somewhere down the line, the robots will be modified to cause intimidation and distress. At least that is the belief of art collective/marketing firm MSCHF, which has plans to host an online event using Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot. The plan is to allow random viewers to temporarily control the robot, which has been modified to equip a paintball gun. The Team at Boston Dynamics has issued a public statement denouncing the virtual event.
MSCHF itself is a bit of a wild card. Initially, the company was in the business of providing unconventional marketing plans to clients but made the decision to do its own thing. Doing its own thing encapsulates such endeavors as selling rubber chicken bongs and developing A.I.-driven foot fetish pics. As far as the exhibition with the Spot robot goes, MSCHF wants to draw attention to the likelihood that these robots will be used by law enforcement and the military for intimidation purposes, or worse.
The landing page for the online event, dubbed Spot’s Rampage, includes some statements drawing direct comparisons between the friendly dog robot portrayed in Boston Dynamics marketing materials and remote-controlled military drones.
MSCHF has mentioned that they are unsure if the event will go on as planned, as they suspect Boston Dynamics may have backdoor access to the robot and thus, the ability to remotely disable it. The world will find out tomorrow, February 24 at 1:00 PM ET, when the Spot’s Rampage event is scheduled to kick off.