Robot Dogs Are a Thing: Jeff Bezos Takes One for a Walk

Amazon founder and the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, has made quite the living out of automating our lives.

Homes now have digital assistants, entire shops can be run without checkouts and one day soon drones will likely drop off your latest online shopping purchase. It now seems Bezos has his mind made up on the next robots for humans to enjoy: dogs.

7-21-17 Jeff Bezos
Upon accepting the first Buzz Aldrin Space Innovation Award from the famous astronaut at a gala on Saturday, Bezos talked about using his "lottery winnings" from Amazon to fund his push into space. He'd like to see permanent human settlement on the moon. Alex Wong/Getty Images

You might remember the video of Boston Dynamics' robotic dog opening a door for its friend. Despite the video being slightly horrifying and Black Mirror-esque, many marvelled at the company's achievement.

And apparently, one of those marvelling was Bezos. Yesterday (March 19), the Amazon chief executive uploaded a photo to his personal Twitter account of him walking next to SpotMini. The picture looked almost like the cover of an action movie—save for the bystanders. Bezos tweeted: "Taking my new dog for a walk at the #MARS2018 conference. #BostonDynamics".

Taking my new dog for a walk at the #MARS2018 conference. #BostonDynamics

— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) March 19, 2018

The Amazon-run MARS conference is an invitation-only event based in Palm Springs to showcase new tech such as robots and drones.

Included this year was a bottle-flipping robot that challenged Bezos to a quick face-off. Neither were able to land a bottle upright. As it turns out, the robot was also capable of playing beer pong and excelled. Even the ping pong robot from the Consumer Electronics Show in January made another appearance.

Jeff Bezos playing beer pong with a robot #mars2018

— Cosima Gretton MD (@cosgretton) March 19, 2018

The SpotMini still managed to steal the show with another combination of creepy and impressive. One video shows it leading two other robots in an autonomous parade on the grass, while drones fly above.

A robot parade at #mars2018 — the round ones are autonomously following the dog. Also, a drone.

— Lindy Elkins-Tanton (@ltelkins) March 19, 2018

It also found some time to visit the Rocket Lab exhibit which showed off a 3D printed rocket engine using reusable ejected batteries.

Turns out the @BostonDynamics #SpotMini dog likes @RocketLab rockets. Who’s a good boy?!? #MARS2018

— Amanda Stiles (@alias_amanda) March 19, 2018

One last thing, and maybe this will put your mind at ease; SpotMini seems to enjoy giving out high-fives.

“High Eleven” with Marc, SpotMini, and I.#BostonDynamics #SpotMini#MARS2018

— Dennis Hong (@DennisHongRobot) March 19, 2018

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts