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Adam Savage turned Spot the robodog into a creepy rickshaw driver

Sure it works, but at what cost?
Rachel England, @rachel_england
February 17, 2020
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Boston Dynamics has long touted robotic dog Spot's ability to help out in disaster situations and to take on jobs too hazardous for humans, but what practical applications does it have for the average Joe? Beyond scuttling around your house like a Lovecraftian nightmare, that is. Well, as ex-Mythbusters host Adam Savage has recently unveiled, it's pretty good at pulling a rickshaw.

Like almost everyone who has encounted Spot, his first thought was "can I ride it?" Unfortunately not, given the amount of weight the machine can handle -- so for Savage, combining its capabilities with his apparent love for rickshaws was the obvious second choice. Obviously. And getting Spot geared up for the task appears to be relatively straightforward -- Savage just mounted a tow hitch to its cargo rails.

The end result is a creepy, Steampunk-esque vision of personal transit -- but it's certainly efficient. Does a Spot-powered rickshaw have a place in real life? That's not beyond the realms of possibility given the gradual advent of autonomous transport pods and such like -- plus, Boston Dynamics has recently made Spot's SDK available to anyone who wants it.

However, Boston Dynamics has been vague about Spot's pricing, advising would-be buyers to get in touch for a quote, but that early adopter program leasing will be less than the price of a car. If you're looking for a convenient way to get around, then, you might just be better off getting... a car.

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