Watch these robotic ‘reindeer’ from Boston Dynamics pull Santa’s sleigh

We’re going to rewrite Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, because now, it’s robotic dogs that are pulling Santa’s sleigh. In a rather frightening video, Google-owned robotics design firm Boston Dynamics has shown us the future of Christmas, and it’s plenty progressive, complete with machines and female Santas. I can get behind that sort of holiday, I think.

Of course, the Internet wasn’t so sure. And to be fair, the dog-like robots are a bit frightening. Large and, well, headless, these machines seem to hearken more to the Thestrals (the skeletal winged horses visible only to those who’ve witnessed death) of Harry Potter’s universe than the adorable reindeer that are supposed to transport jolly Saint Nick to and from the North Pole.

This may be partly due to the fact that the so-called robotic reindeer are not reindeer after all, but rather slightly revised versions of Spot, a giant dog capable pulling pretty impressive loads for extended periods of time. Boston Dynamics simply decorated their canine with reindeer antlers and somewhat festive garb and sent them out with Ms. Santa. Needless to say, no one was really fooled.

In any case, it’s a clever way to put tech front and center even in the midst of a traditional holiday season. So creepy or not, Boston Dynamics, keep at it. I’m just waiting for a robotic Santa to deliver all the gifts.

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