Those 'Black Mirror' Robot Dogs Are Now Majority-Owned by Hyundai
The car company aims to realize "progress for humanity" through its controlling stake in Boston Dynamics
Published Jun 21, 2021Boston Dynamics' autonomous robot dogs — arguably best known for the use of their image as heat-seeking killers in Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror — are now majority-owned by Hyundai Motor Company, a move that the business is using to angle away from its dystopian roots with a new marketing campaign.
Hyundai announced its newly-acquired 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics in a press release today, alongside the launch of a promotional video that sees the robot dog — a $74,500 USD "agile mobile robot" named Spot — working as a doctor, a guide dog for the visually impaired and more.
According to the release, Hyundai has "invested substantially in the development of future technologies" through Boston Dynamics, "including autonomous driving, artificial intelligence (AI), Urban Air Mobility (UAM), smart factories and robots."
Additionally, the company vaguely claims that it intends to "enhance people's lives and promote safety, thereby realizing the progress for humanity," with its new robot army.
The materials fail to mention the use of Spot in NYPD's tactical mobile robo-dog fleet, an instance of which was captured on video back in April, when locals spotted the "Digidog" leaving an apartment after a police call.
Various iterations of these freaky robots have migrated into reality in recent years, including a creepy free-range version and another that was really into choreography.
See the latest PR stunt for Spot in Hyundai's promotional video below, where you can also revisit Brooker's image of the AI killer in Season 4, Episode 5 of Black Mirror.