Real dog doesn’t back down from robot dog as video catches face-to-face meeting

Geek Life: Fun stories, memes, humor and other random items at the intersection of tech, science, business and culture.
Robot dog
Cosmo the terrier takes on Spot the robot dog. (Steve Jurvetson via Flickr)
Dogs are not dummies and robots can be scary. That’s the takeaway from a new video uploaded to YouTube by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, which features a terrier barking at a quadruped robot named Spot, from Google’s Boston Dynamics.
Spot is taken through a number of maneuvers as the dog, named Cosmo, yaps at it in a parking lot for about two minutes.
Another video shows Spot getting back up on all four legs after being knocked on its side. It walks over a curb and then tromps on some flowers before trotting past a bunch of parked cars.

Spot is also featured on the Boston Dynamics YouTube channel. The site says that the robot is designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. A sensor head helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain and it weighs about 160 pounds.

A video shows people trying to kick it over again, which actually causes us to sympathize with the machine. Last week, the two-legged, next-generation robot Atlas was put through the paces — and the bullying.

Cosmo belongs to Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android. The little dog does a fine job of letting the robot dog know we won’t go quietly when Skynet takes over. In fact, “Terminator” fans should remember that German Shepherds did a great job of alerting humans when the robots were coming to kill them.

Update: This story has been corrected to reflect that the terrier’s name is Cosmo.

Writer and editor Kurt Schlosser covers the Geek Life beat for GeekWire. A longtime journalist, photographer and designer, he has worked previously for NBC News, and the Seattle P-I. Follow Kurt on Twitter or reach him at
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