Boston Dynamics, a robot maker owned by Google, uploaded a video on YouTube for the first time in almost a year.
"Happy holidays from Boston Dynamics," said a woman in the video while dressed in a Santa suit. But of course, this is not a simple holiday greeting, as there should be robots involved whenever Boston Dynamics appears.
The woman in the Santa suit is sitting in a sleigh as it is being pulled by a four-legged robot that has antlers on its head. Two other four-legged robots with antlers are walking in line in front of the sleigh-pulling one, with these robots looking very much like the Spot robot of Boston Dynamics.
Spot, which was first revealed in February, is a lean and quiet quadrupedal robot designed by Boston Dynamics. The robot features organic reflexes similar to its bigger brother, the BigDog, and when it is pushed or kicked, Spot can regain its balance.
The company foresaw that Spot will have military applications, and in September, reports revealed that the Marine Corps was testing the robot to see if it can eventually replace working dogs and save them from the line of fire.
"I think a robot like Spot has tons of opportunities we could use it for, like scouting or load carriage," then said DARPA roboticist Ben Swilling. With Spot weighing only 160 pounds and its ability to be controlled wirelessly though a controller at a maximum distance of just over 1,600 feet, the quadrupedal robot can soon be joining the military as a valuable tool.
However, until then, it seems that Spot will have to settle with pulling sleighs and mimicking Rudolph. It's a good thing that the woman in the Santa suit in the video was not replaced by the bipedal robot Atlas, also by Boston Dynamics, or else it would look like a full-blown robot apocalypse holiday video.