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Boston Dynamics robot dog, Spot
Via YouTube

You can finally buy that terrifying, door-opening robot dog

When Black Mirror comes to life

First it was washing dishes, then it was opening doors, and now it’s here to serve you: that nightmarish robot dog is finally available to buy.

Created by robotics company Boston Dynamics and called ‘Spot’, the dog marks the first time the company has made any of its robots available for sale. All you have to do is fork out $74,500 (£59k), and you’ll have your very own mechanic maid. Kind of.

According to a press release, the dog will be available for businesses in the US to purchase in order to “increase efficiency and greatly reduce safety risks in the workplace”. Anyone looking to buy one of the dogs will have to prove that the robot will be put to “beneficial use”.

“At Boston Dynamics, we have spent decades creating and refining robots with advanced mobility, dexterity, and intelligence because we believe agile robots can solve a broad range of real world problems,” Marc Raibert, the company’s founder, said in a press release. “The combination of Spot’s sophisticated software and high performance mechanical design enables the robot to augment difficult or dangerous human work.”

Spot’s hit headlines in 2016 when a video emerged of it loading the dishwasher, recycling, and – terrifyingly – getting up after slipping on a banana skin. Then, in 2018, Spot was captured opening a door for itself and its robotic mate.

According to Boston Dynamic’s website, the robot, which is small enough to use indoors, has 360 degree vision and obstacle avoidance, as well as actions to perform autonomous tasks. Spot can be controlled by an out-of-box controller, or through an application programming interface.

For those looking to buy, I suggest not watching Black Mirror’s “Metalhead” – you have been warned. Shop for your robot dog here.