Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot is surprisingly good at pulling a rickshaw

The latest project from ex-MythBusters host Adam Savage


Boston Dynamics has always talked about Spot’s ability to go places too dangerous for humans, whether it’s checking for gas leaks or disposing of bombs and other hazardous materials. But now, former MythBusters host Adam Savage has developed a new use for the expensive robodog: pulling him around in a homemade rickshaw.

The project came about after Savage was loaned a Boston Dynamics robot for a year back in January. Although he says that riding atop Spot directly isn’t possible because of the amount of weight the robot can handle, pulling a rickshaw is a good replacement. “I [wanted] an early video to be a simple task that we give Spot that is fun and evocative and strange and hilarious,” the presenter explains in the video.

The project makes use of the modular platform that Boston Dynamics has created for Spot, which is designed to allow companies to create their own functions and payloads for the robot. Spot has a set of cargo rails on its top, upon which Savage was able to mount a tow hitch that could be connected to his rickshaw.

It’s not the most practical way of getting around, but then again the same could be said for rickshaws more generally, and that hasn’t stopped cities like London being overrun by pedal-powered versions. At this point, why not cut out the human entirely and rely on a robotic dog? Or, if you’re not into the rickshaw idea, why not go all out and use a pack of Spots to tow your car around?