NEWS
18/08/2021 10:52 BST

‘New Apocalypse Just Dropped’: Boston Dynamic’s Latest Robot Can Probably Outrun You

It's happening – AI is taking over.

 A new robot was just launched by Boston Dynamics – and it’s more nimble than you could imagine.

The US-based robotics company promoted the new robot design on Twitter and showed the humanoid machine completing an obstacle course similar to Parkour.

Although this particular robot design, known as the Atlas, has been around for a few years, this footage was released to mark the first time “both Atlas robots have completed the complex obstacle course” almost flawlessly.

Tomohiro Ohsumi via Getty Images
Boston Dynamics Inc.'s Atlas humanoid robot

The Atlas team leader Scott Kuindersma said: “We hadn’t run that behaviour after the backflip before today, so that was really an experiment.”

But, the team aren’t completely happy as the video “looks a little awkward” and so are still looking for ways to improve their humanoids.

The team also explained why it chose this routine on Twitter, writing: “Parkour is the perfect sandbox for the Atlas team to experiment with new behaviours.

“Through jumps, balance beams and vaults, we push Atlas to its limits to discover the next generation of mobility, perception and athletic intelligence.”

Well, it certainly caused a stir on the internet.

BuzzFeed News’ David Mack tweeted: “New apocalypse just dropped.”

He added: “Who will be the first person killed by the backflipped robots[?]”

The journalist was not the only one who sounded slightly concerned in his tweets.

The video, watched more than six million times, had thrown some Twitter accounts into panic.

One wrote: “Drones were created to gather visual intel, then they were weaponised.

“We know where this is headed. Robocops and Terminator super soldiers.

“And removing all moral and ethical responsibility when it comes to killing people.

“It’s a pessimistic view but it will inevitably happen.”

Not everyone was as pessimistic though, and one account listed the advantages such robots could bring to human lives, including “replacing soldiers”, and acting in “certain caretaker aspects which would allow the elderly or disabled to live more independently and be safer”.

Another wrote: “What you’re doing with these robots is really amazing.

“Thank you for being innovative and daring with these projects.” 

Others were strangely sceptical towards the real footage, writing: “How people can’t see that this is clearly CGI is beyond me.”

Yet, plenty of other Twitter users also saw the funny side, with one account even adding menacing music to the clip.