'Silicon Valley' used Google's robot dog Spot in its season 3 premiere

Richard hendricks silicon valleyHBOThings are not going well for Richard at the start of season three.

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for season 3 of “Silicon Valley.”

When the season three premiere of “Silicon Valley” kicks offRichard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) is furious after learning he was removed as CEO from his own company “Pied Piper” at the end of last season. He’s so distraught that he and Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) race over to the company to try and sort things out. 

Their trip is quickly halted. 

A minute into the premiere, the two get stopped dead in their tracks when Hendricks hits something in the middle of the road.

“Did I just hit a deer?” asks a frazzled Hendricks.

Not quite.

The two get out the car only to find it’s a robotic dog with antlers attached to it. 

Mad, Erlich gets out of the car and starts kicking it over and over.

That wasn’t just any old robot dog, though. That was Spot, Boston Dynamics’ dog-like robot originally built to scout for the U.S. Marines. And yes, it really was wearing antlers. They were its costume for its star turn as “Bambot,” apparently a deer-like project of Stanford Robotics in the show’s universe.

An HBO representative told Tech Insider that not only did Boston Dynamics actually let Spot appear in the man-on-robot violence scene with T.J. Miller, but the “Stanford students” running out of the forest to protect their robot deer were actually Boston Dynamics technicians.

Don’t worry about Spot though. While the kicking was real, the smallest robot in the company’s four-legged line-up is built to withstand such abuse. Check out the video below from way back in February 2015 of Spot climbing hills, wandering the forest, and taking kick after kick from a surprisingly friendly-looking roboticist.

It’s an interesting moment for a Boston Dynamics robot to make a public appearance. Alphabet, which had bought the company, recently put it up for sale after deciding it wasn’t likely to generate revenue anytime soon. A few months earlier, the Marines rejected Spot’s much larger cousin, BigDog, for being too noisy.

Even so, the company keeps building new, amazing walking robots, like the humanoid Atlas, which debuted in February. 

As for actually getting smashed by a car, no word yet on whether Spot could survive that. But we’re guessing it wouldn’t be too good for the car either.

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