Creepy headless robot dogs give Santa a ride for Christmas

Who needs reindeer when you can have Boston Dynamics' terrifying robots pull your sleigh for the holidays? We miss Rudolph already.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
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If Boston Dynamics' creepy robots start flying over rooftops, Dancer, Prancer and the rest of Santa's reindeer will have to start looking for another gig.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Rudolph the robot reindeer had a very shiny...um...servo?

To spread goodwill and possible nightmares to the masses, Google-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics posted a video for the holidays showing a sleigh being pulled by its latest Spot robots wearing antlers.

Spot is another version of the Boston Dynamics' famous BigDog, a DARPA-funded all-terrain cyber-canine meant for military use. The headless, animal-like robot can carry 340 pounds and climb slopes up to 35 degrees. Plus it likes to play fetch with concrete blocks.

The Spot robots are a smaller version of BigDog. The four-legged Spot can walk, climb and run just like BigDog, but it seems much more agile and even harder to kick over.

Spot is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Its sensor head helps it navigate through tough terrain and it weighs around 160 pounds (72.5kg).

Even though the Spot robots pulled the sleigh, we're relieved to see that the Santa inside remained a human. Though we're kind of surprised they didn't have their humanoid robot Atlas pulling the reigns. Maybe next year when Atlas grows a beard?