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The Art of Defeating Robot Dogs

by Casey J. Bastian

I’ve always known I didn’t trust humans with developing robotic technology. Of all the concerns I have, I now have to add possible mortal combat with robotic dogs to the list. Thanks Boston Dynamics. But thanks to Samantha Cole of, I know how to kick robo-dog ass.

Ever since Boston Dynamics’ $74,500 robo-dog “Spot” hit the news, it was only a matter of time before law enforcement would become interested. A Massachusetts police department has already used Spot as a “mobile remote observation device.” The New York Police Department used Spot to investigate a burglary—and freaked out a whole neighborhood doing so. Even police in Honolulu have used Spot.

Boston Dynamics states that it does not condone Spot being used for any violent activity. I might trust Boston Dynamics, but I have a harder time trusting law enforcement to have the same integrity (or restraint). I have to wonder; would it be illegal to disable Spot? Would it be assaulting an officer? I’ll save those concerns for later. Right now, I just know that I am not letting a robotic dog chew off my arm.

First, I might grab the battery pack’s handle and remove the battery. I just need to flip the dog over. Which shouldn’t be too hard, right? Don’t forget the moving joints on Spot that will crush or amputate your fingers. Ummm ... ouch. Same problem with the power and “motor lockout” buttons on its robo-rump. Push to disable. I meant to disable Spot, but it sounds like I might just as easily get disabled myself. Maybe I’ll stick to jamming the Wi-Fi signal that operates the robo-dog. Or, I might just throw dust, paint, or even a blanket over its optical sensors.

I don’t know if I’d win, but at least I have a few ideas on how to engage this futuristic beast. No time like the present to get prepared for the coming robo-dog reckoning. Thankfully, robo-dogs are not out there on the loose, yet. It’s a spot in which I hope to never to find myself.



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