Possible cause of the upcoming singularity, Boston Dynamics, is secretive about its robotics projects, but new footage shows their machines in action — and the results are highly unsettling.
First you can see Spot, an agile autonomous quadruped ripped directly from Isaac Asimov’s nightmares, opening a door with the arm it sports instead of a face. Spot would almost be adorable the way it trots around on four legs except for the protruding face-arm that will turn the handle on your front door with its superstrength. Sleep well tonight.
Next, humanoid robot Atlas, an early prototype for the Terminator that will one day destroy us, is seen striding across uneven rocky surfaces and stalking through the woods. Seeing Atlas in action outside the lab is new. It's no doubt Boston Dynamics’ way of telling a cowed planet, “Be afraid. They know no environmental boundaries”. Atlas is also shown being hit by heavy weights and maintaining his balance, so good luck, future freedom fighters of the underground human resistance.
“We’re interested in getting this robot out into this world,” says Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert in the video, as part of MIT’s FAB 11 conference. He seems calm and blithely unafraid, ignoring the fact that his creation is moving through the trees with an ease of motion that would make Gort weep. “We’re working on a version that doesn’t have that [power tether],” Raibert says of Atlas, which is code for “run, you helpless fleshbag fools. RUN!” [YouTube, IEEE Spectrum]
Top gif: Andrew Liszewski