"That didn't work out for the dog so well."
A parking garage in Manhattan collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, killing one person and injuring five more.
Among the New York Fire Department's first responders was a Dalmatian-spotted robodog, which unfortunately had a hell of a time while surveying the area.
In a video posted on social media that has since gone viral, the robot can be seen walking into the collapsed structure. But moments after it started its climb through the rubble, the robodog simply fell over onto its side, lying motionless on top of a piece of concrete — perhaps a sign it wasn't quite cut out for the job.
"Oh," one onlooker can be heard saying in the video. "That didn't work out for the dog so well."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
The @FDNY robot dog on the scene. #fidi #garagecollapse pic.twitter.com/JAHc3abVsD
— DaDa Rocks! (@dadarocks) April 18, 2023
Not So Hot Spot
The NYFD became the first fire agency in the country to purchase several Spot robodogs from Boston Dynamics last year, which cost an eye-watering $75,000 each.
The use of these quadrupeds by the city's police department, however, proved far more controversial, with the agency cutting short its contract with Boston Dynamics due to mounting pressure from critics back in 2021.
Despite the significant backlash, the NYPD reinstated its robodogs just last week.
"Digidog is out of the pound," mayor Eric Adams said during a press conference at the time.
The NYFD robodog's comical tumble is especially eyebrow-raising, given that reconnaissance and rescue missions of this kind are one of the main selling points of these machines.
That said, it's important to note that the video ends before we can see if or when Spot gets up on its own — and as a Boston Dynamics spokesperson noted to us, Spot does have self-righting capabilities — or needed human assistance. It was also later confirmed that the FDNY robo-Dalmatian did locate the remains of the one garage employee who sadly died in the accident, so the robot did do a much better job than the video suggests.
Even so, the video wasn't a great look considering the steep expense and the fact that New Yorkers really, really hate them.
And to that end, Twitter had its own takes on the robodog's trip up.
"I could have done that," one user wrote.
Correction April 22, 2023: Updated to clarify that Spot has self-righting capabilities and that it found the remains of a deceased individual at the scene.
More on Spot's NYC history: After Public Rage, NYPD Secretly Fires Robot Dog