You can build your own Black Mirror-style robot dog for roughly $750

Charlie Brooker, the creator of popular dystopian sci-fi series Black Mirror said he was taking a hiatus from the show… his reason? The world’s too messed up for him to be able to produce a show that literally depicts messed up worlds. Where’s the boundary between sci-fi and reality when you really can’t tell the difference between the two anymore? Remember the Black Mirror episode titled ‘Metalhead’ with the robot dogs that hunted humans? Well, Singapore’s introduced human-monitoring robot canines to their parks to check on people and warn them to socially distance. Sounds weird? Sounds like something you’d see on TV? Well, that’s life now… and apparently students at Stanford have reverse engineered the popular robotic canine and made their DIY kit open source. For anywhere between $600-$900, you can build and assemble your own bionic pupper… Don’t worry though, this one’s harmless.

The Stanford Pupper Quadriped Robot requires a fair bit of technical expertise, though, and can take anywhere from 4-10 hours to build. The cost of building the robot depends partly on whether you have a few key elements. If you’ve got a Raspberry Pi 4 and a PS4 controller handy, things should be a breeze (resources and code can be found on links available on the Stanford Student Robotics website). You’ll also need a few elements for the frame, like a carbon fiber plate and a few 3D printed PLA parts, although the guys at Stanford make it easy by letting you buy the pre-fab parts from a website. It’s impossible to say if the assembled cyberdog could do your shopping for you, but you could easily have it carry small items like your remote or beer can from one room to another. Just don’t piss it off or turn it sentient.

Designer: Stanford Student Robotics