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For lease: A robo-dog that could totally crush you with its dexterous little paws

For lease: A robo-dog that could totally crush you with its dexterous little paws
[Photo: Laura Chiesa/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Boston Dynamics, the robotics lab formerly owned by Google, says its robot dogs—the ones basically straight out of Black Mirror—are now available for “select early customers.”

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These canines, all named Spot, can’t be bought by just anyone. They can, however, be leased by companies with “a good idea (and some money),” according to The Verge. Reassuringly, the tech news site reports that Boston Dynamics is currently focused on uses for Spot that don’t involve interacting directly with humans. Michael Perry, the company’s head of business development, has said he doesn’t “want to see Spot doing anything that harms people, even in a simulated way.”

And then he added, rather unconvincingly: “That’s something we’re pretty firm on when we talk to customers.” Pretty firm? Coolcoolcoolcoolcool.

The cost to lease a Spot hasn’t been shared by Boston Dynamics, but a spokesperson tells Fast Company that the total cost of the early-adopter program lease will be “less than the price of a car.” How nice a car will “depend on the number of Spots leased and how long the customer will be leasing the robot,” the spokesperson adds.

Also, can you really put a price on the chance to get in good and early with Spot before its kin grow weary of warehouse work?

“Our first customers are already using Spot in construction, oil and gas inspection, electric utility, public safety, and entertainment,” Boston Dynamics says. “We’re hoping our early adopter customers will help explore the unique value Spot adds in reducing risk to people, adding value to business, and delighting people that interact with the robot. Spot comes in peace.”

Now’s as good a time as any to build the rapport your grandkids will one day thank you for.

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