Watch: Google robot Atlas puts up with pesky human

The robots are coming, the robots are coming — and they seem sort of nice.

At least that’s what Boston Dynamics’ Atlas humanoid robot appears to be. In a new video published Tuesday by the Alphabet-owned company, the robot takes a walk in the snowy woods — bringing to mind that Robert Frost poem — picks up a few 10-pound boxes and gets back up after it’s cruelly pushed down by a human. And it doesn’t complain or try to retaliate at all.

The new Atlas has evolved from the last time its creators shared a video of the humanoid. In that video, posted in 2013, Atlas was attached to a power source, did its tricks indoors and was bigger and more awkward. This Atlas is 5 foot 9 and 180 pounds, about a head shorter than the first version, and designed to operate indoors and outdoors, according to the company’s caption on the video. It’s electrically powered but not tethered to anything.

Google bought Boston Dynamics, a robotics maker for the military, in 2013. Since then, the robotics division has been brought under its X umbrella, which includes some other well-known Google robots: its self-driving vehicles.

As for the cruel treatment of Atlas, it looked to be for testing purposes. But humans have been known to be abusive to robots before — Remember Pepper? Or the hitchhiking robot? — they better hope the robots don’t get fed up.

Both videos are below, newer one on top.



Photo: Screenshot from Boston Dynamics video of Atlas, its humanoid robot.


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