Google's robot dog meets a real dog and gets trash-talked

Technically Incorrect: A tiny terrier refuses to be intimidated by the huge mass of metal. It shows the machine who's boss.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

All your pets are belong to us.

Jurvetson; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We're slowly preparing ourselves for the coming of the master robots.

We have some sense of what they'll look like and how they'll behave.

We even make movies about it to prepare those who haven't thought about it yet.

But what about dogs? They're far simpler, far more honest than we are. What happens when they're confronted by a robot version of themselves?

Here, then, is one little dog who encounters a robodog that's a lot bigger. The robot canine is Spot. It was created by Boston Dynamics, a company owned by Google.

You might remember Spot. He was going to go to war with the Marines, but was ultimately rejected for being too noisy.

But here he is wandering around a neighborhood, trying to make friends.

As Spot prances around like a preening pony doing the dressage at the Olympics, the real dog barks and barks as if to say, "Get off my lawn."

The real dog isn't cowed. He chases Spot all over the parking lot. He stares it down.

Last week, Boston Dynamics posted video of a humanoid robot that got pushed down but kept getting up again. The humanoid wasn't to be denied.

Perhaps that's why I wished the real dog in this video had jumped on Spot and wrestled it into complete submission.

In time, I suppose our pets will get used to robotic presences. In the end, they'll surely come to like them.

Why? Because it'll be the robots who are feeding them while we're -- what will we be doing?