Spot’s Rampage lets anyone control a paintball gun-toting robot for art

JC Torres - Feb 22, 2021, 11:03pm CST
Spot’s Rampage lets anyone control a paintball gun-toting robot for art

Among all the robots designed by Boston Dynamics, Spot is perhaps the only one so far that borders on being considered “cute” to some degree. Its relatively smaller size and agility have definitely caught the attention of sectors outside the robotics industry, from law enforcement to hospitals to basically anyone with money to burn to buy or build one. The latter is apparently the case with MSCHF, notorious for its viral stunts, who just bought a Spot “dog” robot to create art in the most eccentric and controversial way possible.

If the idea of robots carrying guns already sends shivers down your spine, then the idea behind Spot’s Rampage will probably induce nightmares. It won’t be a threatening firearm, though, and the quadruped robot will instead carry a paintball gun on its back. It’s all for the sake of performance art, though, but that’s not the only eccentric thing about Spot’s Rampage.

The activity will actually let anyone on the Internet take turns in controlling the robot with their smartphones. Each controller has 2 minutes to make the robot do what they want, which is practically to shoot anything inside the art gallery it will be set on. It will then pick randomly from anyone logged into the site during that brief period, rinse, repeat, and shoot.

The idea has definitely raised not a few eyebrows and ruffled feathers, including those of Boston Dynamics. The robotics company quickly took to Twitter to condemn the use of its technology to portray violence or harm. That, however, only emboldened MSCHF to push through with the plan and even warned that Spot might suddenly become unresponsive, confirming the presence of a security backdoor from Boston Dynamics.

Spot’s Rampage is pretty much a tongue-in-cheek social commentary on the potential use of such robots for harm or abuse, like by authorities who already purchased Spots to aid in law enforcement. The “game” is a one-time event that will take place on February 24 at 1 p.m. EST.


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