The Viral Robot Video That's Freaking Everyone Out Is Totally Fake

Have you seen this video of a very human-looking robot walking up a driveway? It’s gotten a lot of people online freaked out about the coming robot apocalypse. But you can rest easy... for now. This “robot” was created using computer graphics. As in, it’s totally fake.

The video was created using the Unity video game and animation engine, though it’s not immediately clear who can claim credit for this particular render. A designer named Maxim Sullivan appears to have been the first to upload this video to Twitter, though he has not yet responded to a request for comment from Gizmodo.


A version of the animated character previously appeared in a web series created by the Unity Demo team, the second and third episodes of which were produced by District 9 director Neill Blomkamp and Oats Studios using the Unity engine. The (free-to-download) robot model was made by Unity’s Swedish demo team for the short film “Adam.” You can watch a behind-the-scenes video for the series on YouTube, but it doesn’t appear that he created this specific animation of a robot in a driveway.

Robots are indeed becoming more agile with each passing day. Boston Dynamics is perhaps the most famous of the Skynet summoners, with robots that can run, open doors, and even do back flips. But at least the robots of Boston Dynamics aren’t eating people.


Update, 12:46pm: Designer Maxim Sullivan told Gizmodo on Twitter that the video is indeed his and he created the background


“I took the background footage with my phone. Put the character in post. Was just testing an HDRI lighting setup I’d made... And it seems to have gone viral,” Sullivan said.

Mystery solved.

Correction: An earlier version of this article claimed that the web video series was created by Neill Blomkamp. He didn’t create the series but did direct the second and the third episode of the series.


Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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Rhesus Pieces

Is there anything more annoying than when someone shows you a fake video, you tell them it is fake, and then they have to come up with a whole “even if it is fake, you gotta admit robot technology is crazy” like it somehow still proves their point even if it isn’t real?