Boston Dynamics has been working on Atlas, a humanoid robot, since 2013. Intended to work in emergency relief situations, the Atlas has often struggled to keep upright while walking. Enter the latest model, unveiled in this YouTube video on Feb. 23. The robot is shown walking across difficult terrain, wibbling and wobbling, but never falling down. According to the video's description, this new Atlas "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, help with navigation and manipulate objects."
More of a concern to those of us worried about a robot takeover, however, is how the robot is treated in the video. A human keeps knocking a box out of the robot's hand-paddles and then sliding the box away using a hockey stick. Another human knocks the robot over onto its knees.
These actions demonstrate the robot's adaptability, but there's another concern: What if Atlas remembers these slights when the robots rise up against us and put us all in zoos?