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Boston Dynamics celebrates Christmas by getting robot reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh

US Government-funded robotics company Boston Dynamics have decided to mark the festive season by releasing a video of their trademark four-legged robots pulling Santa's sleigh while decked out as reindeer.

The company makes a number of walking robots, but they're best known for the BigDog device - a quadruped robot designed to carry military supplies and equipment over rough terrain, like a robotic mule.

Using three Spot robots, slightly smaller versions of BigDog, the company showed off their capabilities and celebrated the season by getting them to take the place of Santa's reindeer.

As always with Boston Dynamics, the video is equally impressive and unsettling - the strange trot that the robots break into looks natural, but there's something about it that is clearly man-made.

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The lives of future Spot and BigDog robots may be tedious and violent, but it's nice that they've been given a taste of Christmas.

Given that their creators seem to spend most of their time relentlessly kicking the robots as they struggle to stay standing, it's uplifiting that they've been allowed to have some fun for once.