WATCH THIS: Boston Dynamics’ latest amazing robots won’t go down easily

Boston Dynamics, the robotics company owned by Goo… – sorry, force of habit – Alphabet, has just published a new video showing what it’s currently working on. The answer seems to be robots that stay standing and mobile no matter what the world hurls at them.

First up, Spot the quadruped, which has an arm poking out of its face like the stuff of nightmares, enabling it to open doors. Provided yours have handles, of course. If you want to keep Spot at bay, maybe invest in doorknobs.

Next up is Atlas, which gracefully darts across uneven rocky surfaces with the speedy trepidation of someone who stepped out onto a gravel path without shoes. Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert describes Atlas as “walking a little bit like the way people and animals do – where you move quickly in order to keep yourself stabilised if you’re disturbed”. He also revealed that they sometimes kick Atlas to maintain his balance – or, as in the picture above, hit him with a cartoonishly heavy bowling ball.

Immediately after this, we see Atlas running through a forest, presumably to get as far away from its captors as possible. “Out in the world is a just a totally different challenge to in the lab, you can’t predict what it’ll be like.” Of course, it can’t get far with the power cable attached. “We’re working on a version that doesn’t have that,” explained Raibert.

“We’re making pretty good progress on making it so it has mobility that’s sort of within shooting range of yours,” he went on, as Atlas cautiously navigated trees and paths.

“I’m not saying it can do everything you can do, but you can imagine that if we keep pushing we’ll get there.” He’s not kidding – the evolution we’ve seen from Boston Dynamics’ robots has been pretty impressive. Who knows what they’ll be doing next time we’re granted a peek inside their world?

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