How to Defeat Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot in 1:1 Combat

Photo: Henrique Casinhas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Today in news you can use: a brief guide to killing those quadrupedal robots that you’ve seen in countless viral videos, bounding across the landscape like nightmare spider-horses.

Twitter user, uh, “sleep paralysis demon” published a viral thread on Wednesday about what to do “if you or someone nearby are being brutalized by a police Spot robot.” Here’s the meat of it:

We haven’t had occasion to test these tactics, given that an authoritarian robotic uprising has yet to occur. We can confirm, at least, that the images and information are pulled from Boston Dynamics’ official Spot user guide.

Boston Dynamics did not immediately respond to a request for comment from OneZero, perhaps because the line of questioning is, to be frank, a little silly.

Then again, the thread glances at a valid point. Police departments in Massachusetts and New York, at least, have already used the Spot robot without public oversight. The ACLU probed the Massachusetts State Police in 2019, seeking details about how the agency planned to use the technology.

“All too often, the deployment of these technologies happens faster than our social, political, or legal systems react,” Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty program at the ACLU Massachusetts, said in a statement to TechCrunch at the time. “We urgently need more transparency from government agencies, who should be upfront with the public about their plans to test and deploy new technologies.”

That’s fair! Until such time, remember well the words of sleep paralysis demon: “Keep your hands away from joints, Spot WILL crush your fingers.”

Co-Founder and Former Editor in Chief, OneZero at Medium

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