• 12.23.15

Are Boston Dynamics’ Robot Reindeer The Ghosts Of Christmas Future?

Either that, or the nightmare before Christmas.

Are Boston Dynamics’ Robot Reindeer The Ghosts Of Christmas Future?

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?


How about Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas?

But the scariest Santa of all? We can’t even post the image, you’ll have to look for yourself.

About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.