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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The naive fools at Boston Dynamics are putting their robots to work in factories now

Illustration for article titled The naive fools at Boston Dynamics are putting their robots to work in factories now
Screenshot: Boston Dynamics (YouTube)

Boston Dynamics, the company whose greatest hits include “Fucked-Up Robot Dog,” “Fucked-Up Robot-Person,” and “Fucked-Up Robot-Dinosaur,” has announced it’s now putting its creations to work in dead-end factory jobs. In partnership with OTTO Motors, itself a big fan of creating human-replacing labor automatons, the shortsighted fools have added the last ingredient necessary to foment a full on robopocalypse: Giving powerful machines endless work to do and thus a reason to violently resent humankind.

Boston Dynamics put out a video showing its “logistics robot Handle” (basically a steel dinosaur skeleton that picks up stuff with its big toothless robo-maw) working alongside some of OTTO’s creations. OTTO’s autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), which look like flat-bed hover cars, whir around the floor of a factory as Handle navigates its powerful neck-crane over to shelves filled with boxes, suctions them up, and places them onto the AMR beds. The clip feels like the sort of nature documentary that would be made to explain a robo-ecosystem if any people were around to create such a thing in the mechanical world that will soon purge us from existence.


The accompanying press release explains that Handle “completed proof of concept trials with customers in their warehouses last year” and that the next step is “working with OTTO Motors to further automate the logistics space.” In short, the two companies are selling our species out in order to make shipping processes more efficient.

It does this despite repeated pop culture warnings that its robotic spawn is just waiting for the right moment to go rogue, pushing back against human commands and starting an uprising that will destroy our fleshy dominion once and for all. Not content simply to wait around for the robots to gradually figure out that it might be fun (or ... logical) to crush our meat and bones into pulp, overthrowing our place at the top of the food chain, Boston Dynamics and OTTO have decided to accelerate the process by giving the metal bastards a great reason to resent us. Stop them now before it’s too late. Or at least get some union organizers in there to give the robot workers 8-hour days and weekends off so their murderous impulses take a little while longer to emerge.

[via CNET]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.