Boston Dynamics’ Robot Does Backflips Now and We’re Scared

They can do gymnastics now. God help us all.

 

Hug your children.

The era of the hostile robot takeover inched closer this week, as Boston Dynamics released an ominous new video from the company’s lair showing its creation, Atlas, jumping from platform to platform and completing perfect backflips with ease. Start panicking now.

“What have you been up to, Atlas?” reads an ominous message on YouTube. Parkour, apparently, is the answer.

In a video, the “world’s most dynamic humanoid” can be seen launching itself atop progressively taller rectangles and spinning 180 degrees mid-air. And then, for its chilling grand finale, the video shows the 165-pound ninja/machine completing a series of Olympian-quality backflips, tucking its legs under its robot torso before sticking the landing. It then thrusts its spherical robot paws into the air, taunting us.

“Atlas is the latest in a line of advanced humanoid robots we are developing,” Boston Dynamics says on its website. “Atlas’ control system coordinates motions of the arms, torso and legs to achieve whole-body mobile manipulation, greatly expanding its reach and workspace. … Stereo vision, range sensing and other sensors give Atlas the ability to manipulate objects in its environment and to travel on rough terrain.”

We tried to warn you.

The announcement follows the debut of a flexible four-legged Boston Dynamics ‘bot called SpotMini that fans of Stranger Things accurately said reminded them of the killer “demodogs” from the show.

These things are ready to run, climb,  leap from surface to surface, and, we assume, hunt for prey with every ounce of technological prowess their masters can bestow on them.

Remember the days when they were teasing Atlas and kicking its ass with a hockey stick?

Are they not concerned about the day vengeance arrives?

Can you de-program a thirst for blood?


Spencer Buell Staff Writer at Boston Magazine sbuell@bostonmagazine.com