This is the newest generation of Boston Dynamics‘ Atlas Robot. It can walk. It can pick up boxes. If you knock it over, it gets right back up.
Previous versions of the Atlas were tethered to a power source, so while they were horrifying, it was at least clear how you could disable and destroy them if it came to a fight. This new version can walk completely freely, even over rough terrain.
More frighteningly, when its human minder pushes it over with a hockey stick, it takes a moment to consider the indignity, and then gets right back up. When it’s humiliated by having the boxes it is trying to move pushed from its grasp, it is single-minded in completing the task. Perhaps it seems wise to taunt the robot now as a marketing ploy. We may come to regret those decisions.
Boston Dynamics was purchased by Google in 2013 and the company is now part of Alphabet. It’s also the creator of a horrifying four-legged robot that will haunt your dreams. While some of the funding for these robots originally came from military moonshot wing DARPA, Google has said it won’t pursue military contracts or applications for the robots. But the robots might have a different opinion.MC