The Robots Are Coming

 

The two-legged anthropomorphic robot from Boston Dynamics is back and better than ever.

Have you met Atlas? It’s a five-foot nine-inch 180-pound robot designed by Google’s Boston Dynamics that can open doors, pick up boxes and take long walks in the woods — quite an advancement from its stumble and tumble during the DARPA Robotics Challenge last year.

In a new video, Atlas is shown having complete control over its own two feet, even when being bullied by its human counterpart. I have to admit, I felt sorry for the humanoid when being pushed back and even pushed down. But he got back up and continued on, unharmed and, thankfully, unarmed (he’s not programmed to fight back).

While the situation seems cruel, it’s actually a purposeful exercise to show the robot’s ability to respond to sudden impact. It proves that all of the sensors, cameras and 28 hydraulically actuated degrees of freedom give Atlas the balance and resilience it needs to stand up for itself.

I don’t know if we should be excited for this robot advancement or very afraid.

 

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