The Google-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics delivered a unique holiday greeting this week: a video of the company’s robots pulling a (human) Santa in a sleigh.
The company develops robots for the military, Sony, and other users, and showcases a variety of human- and animal-inspired robots across its website, from jumping sand fleas to a sprinting WildCat that’s actually shaped a bit more like a buffalo.
The reindeer robots featured in the video appear to be variations on the company’s canine-inspired Spot robots, which are designed for navigating indoor and outdoor terrain.
There’s something a little spooky about this, in a year when several prominent researchers began seriously questioning whether artificial intelligence might one day pose a real threat to humanity. But these reindeer are tame compared to some other robotic Christmas creations.
Remember these Santa-bots from Doctor Who?
Or this Santa from Futurama?