Watch Boston Dynamics’ new Atlas robot get beaten up, pick up boxes, generally be impressive

To the general public, humanoid robots tend to be a source of hilarity, because watching gangly machines fall over like drunks at closing time is funny. Well, the world just collectively stopped laughing for a few seconds – at precisely 2:10 in a video from Boston Dynamics, when an Atlas robot does this:

boston dynamics atlas.gif

From what is shown in the video, the “next generation” of Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot looks immensely impressive. The latest iteration measures in at 5ft 9in and 180 lbs (175cm and 81.6kg) compared to its 6ft, 330 lbs (183cm, 149.7kg) predecessor, and that comparative sprightliness gives the untethered machine a real sense of human movement. Yes, it’s still clunky, but the new Atlas seems to be able to stack shelves, open doors, and walk on uneven outdoor ground without faceplanting.

According to the Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics, the robot is: “A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain and help with navigation.”

If you’re concerned that Atlas might start disobeying its Google overlords, don’t worry. Boston Dynamics seem to be keeping the robot in check with a strict regime of bullying.

boston dynamics bullying.gif

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

Anyway, you can watch the full Boston Dynamic’s video below.

READ NEXT: Let’s hope the robots don’t start wielding katanas.

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