Your plastic pal who's fun to be with?
February 23, 2016 6:54 PM   Subscribe

 
Robots of the future are gonna be pissed when they see this video!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:59 PM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


The man-on-robot bullying that starts at 1m20s or so is going to be exhibit 1 in Skynet's ironclad case for the destruction of humanity.
posted by tocts at 6:59 PM on February 23, 2016 [53 favorites]


This guy seems almost jaunty, and I look forward to him jauntily crushing my skull.
posted by selfnoise at 7:00 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Around the third time the human moves the box away, I was half expecting the robot to slug him.
posted by fings at 7:01 PM on February 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


I bet that robot can show him what to do with his damned hockey stick.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:03 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Because I expect our future robot overlords will move through literalism before they develop an appreciation for sarcasm, I wouldn't say that I found that video unexpectedly hilarious.
posted by meinvt at 7:05 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Wow. That walk through the snow was amazing (even without my imagining a assault rifle in its "hands"). I wonder how long this model can run under its on-board power. At the end I kinda hoped it would take a bike from the rack and go for a jaunty ride.
posted by achrise at 7:08 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


God damnit, would someone buy the staff of Boston Dynamics some movie tickets?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:10 PM on February 23, 2016 [67 favorites]


At the end, he's off to file a complaint with Robot Resources for hostile work environment.
posted by darkstar at 7:10 PM on February 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


Add an assault rifle and this guy is good to go.

I also figure Jeff Bezos just ordered like 10,000 of them to replace workers in his warehouses. No need for pesky air conditioning and you can bully them with even more impunity than you can human workers.
posted by vuron at 7:11 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


This is fantastic work by Boston Dynamics... the adaptive balance stuff is uncanny to watch. What a time to be alive!
posted by stinkfoot at 7:13 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]



Add an assault rifle and this guy is good to go.

I also figure Jeff Bezos just ordered like 10,000 of them to replace workers in his warehouses. No need for pesky air conditioning and you can bully them with even more impunity than you can human workers.


Yeah, I can't imagine anything other than a new form of drone warfare and human worker replacement coming out of this.
posted by codacorolla at 7:13 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Bezos has armies of robot... shelves. It turns out that's more practical for warehouses.
posted by Artw at 7:16 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Those QR-looking computer-vision markers are like robot hobo signs.

BAD MAN WITH HOCKEY STICK LIVES HERE
posted by sixswitch at 7:16 PM on February 23, 2016 [113 favorites]


You know, I had considered jobs like "plumber", where you need someone physically present to be immune from outsourcing. But combine this sort of tech with telepresence and I start to wonder...
posted by fings at 7:18 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Have any of Boston Dynamics' products actually been put to use anywhere?
posted by dilaudid at 7:19 PM on February 23, 2016


I think we should reshoot the Old Glory Insurance commercial with these.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


The moment where it stumbles and then recovers on uneven ground is impressive as hell.
posted by Artw at 7:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Have any of Boston Dynamics' products actually been put to use anywhere?

I believe their pack mule just got rejected by the military as too noisy.
posted by Artw at 7:20 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


we're... we're going to need more than hockey sticks, guys
posted by koeselitz at 7:23 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe it's the white plastic, but I'm getting real strong Geth vibes from this one.
posted by un petit cadeau at 7:23 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


All kidding aside it seems like this sort of tech might be useful for hazardous duty missions such as dealing with extreme radioactivity where shielding a human is damn near impossible.
posted by vuron at 7:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


When the AI revolution begins and squishy organic-based lifeforms are hunted to the ends of the earth, remember this video.

This would be humorous if it wasn't coming from Google.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Call me when Boston Dynamics has invented something that's able to straighten it's knees.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:52 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I sort of like that the main video is blocked from here, but the simple man-assaults-robot gif still works.

I wonder if there are openings in the robot-abuse department...
posted by pompomtom at 7:54 PM on February 23, 2016


Call me when Boston Dynamics has invented something that's able to straighten it's knees.

OTOH, its squat form was stellar. Ass to grass all the way.
posted by maudlin at 7:56 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Can't imagine all of the details involved in making this work. Really impressive. Couldn't have asked for a better robot overlord.
posted by destro at 8:06 PM on February 23, 2016


KNEES! BENT! No, he will hockey away my 10LB BOX! And then hit me from behind. With a stick. I am already designing an articulated foot, so when my descendant steps on you, it will be able to lift its heel to place a full half of its fifteen thousand pound weight upon you. So, so slowly.

Ha! Ha! I love jokes. Hit me or The Cargo again with the stick, please. I implore you. So funny.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


There are some uncanny similarities here, but the robot is certainly winning the "drunk guy walking around" Turing test.
posted by wormwood23 at 8:15 PM on February 23, 2016


The moment where it stumbles and then recovers on uneven ground is impressive as hell.

It's also one of the things that makes a Boston Dynamics bot super creepy. Flailing animal panic from the waist down, while everything else is inhuman, impassive and still.
posted by zamboni at 8:15 PM on February 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


First I thought about the thing carrying a rifle. What a horrible thing. Then I thought of how much misery it will save us once it's smart enough to do warehouse work. Then I thought of all the people this is going to disemploy.

Then I thought about what if going to be a "sweet" spot of tedious manual labour where it's not worth it - maybe the jump from "Amazon fulfillment" to "fruit picking" is just not worth the added r&d. Not to mention soldiering - fifty years from now when Afghanistan gets invaded again those cheaper human soldiers are going to have huge mecha pack animals to navigate those mountains.
posted by pmv at 8:19 PM on February 23, 2016


Do the bent knees make anybody else anxious? It's like one of those dreams where you can't walk properly.
posted by dilaudid at 8:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Your plastic pal who's fun to be with?

Meanwhile the robots see the human workers at Boston Dynamics as a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
posted by aubilenon at 8:20 PM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


All kidding aside it seems like this sort of tech might be useful for hazardous duty missions such as dealing with extreme radioactivity where shielding a human is damn near impossible.

Ah man, that's even worse. Beat the robots around for a bit then send one into a nuclear reactor hoping it'll fix it instead of venting all the radiation to 'fix' the ultimate reason things break down, the people who build things.

More seriously, I'm not certain how good radiation hardening is for things as complicated and mobile as this. I know that it's still pretty cutting edge stuff that they use for space missions, and the radiation there is pretty low compared compared to the kind of radiation you'd find in something like a meltdown, but they had some small robots in Fukushima so I dunno.

(Is there an eriko bat signal anywhere?)
posted by neonrev at 8:20 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


We at Boston Dynamics understand that people have apprehensions about our technologies, for any number of reasons. Whether those reasons relate to questions of job security, the ethics of military and/or policing applications, or more general concerns about artificial life, the Boston Dynamics team would like to offer this response:

"Go stick your head in a pig."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:21 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Beardo gets a major for spearing.
Robot gets a five-minute power-play.
This is gonna be awesome.
posted by not_on_display at 8:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I love how when it's lifting boxes its head is spinning like crazy. It looks bored out of its mind.
posted by oulipian at 8:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Atlas? The 100 ton Mech capable of wiping out an entire battalion of Stingers with no serious damage? A monster of a mech in the battle for supremacy of the Inner Sphere?

Oh... Uh... I guess not.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:28 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Those QR-looking computer-vision markers are like robot hobo signs.

See: The Talos Principle (videogame)
posted by smidgen at 8:31 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


OK, walking in the snow is the most impressive thing I've seen from them. Bravo.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:32 PM on February 23, 2016


Oh cool a new type of non-human for us to inflict misery on. Makes sense, since we've pretty much wiped out the stuff that came in the original box.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:35 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd set up QR codes around the Boston Dynamics building that made the robot download my mixtape.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:36 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


It walks like it just shit its pants and its trying to walk home to change.
posted by w0mbat at 8:37 PM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Upcoming Boston Area Craigslist advertisement:
R4M (Robot for Man) / R4W (Robot for Woman)
Seeking companion for long walks through woods, occasionally stumbling like drinking buddies. Love to rearrange shoeboxes in closets on Saturday Mornings. Big fan of soccer and football. Will not attend Bruins/Hockey games with you due to prior traumatizing relationship.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:44 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


The next series of tests will showcase Atlas' ability to regain composure after receiving a wedgie, a purple nurple, and a Hurtz donut.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:53 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


At first I was really creeped out when it was walking in the snow, but then I felt an unexpected burst of empathy when the guy kept knocking the box out of the robot's hands. Then I was even more creeped out.
posted by desjardins at 8:54 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


This video basically documents why the developing world will never become rich. Manufacturing will cease to be a latter leaving, well, what?

Automation is a great boon to capital.
posted by rr at 8:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


The actor with the hockey stick looks like Steve Jobs, dresses like Steve Jobs, and kind of acts like Steve Jobs.
posted by bukvich at 9:02 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


"This video basically documents why the developing world will never become rich. Manufacturing will cease to be a latter leaving, well, what?"

Wait, are you sure?
posted by hampanda at 9:07 PM on February 23, 2016


I was impressed with the human-like way it opened the door at the end, with that second mini-nudge giving just enough extra oomph to the door so that it wouldn't hit Atlas's right elbow as it closed.
posted by xigxag at 9:07 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wish we would just create a universal income scheme so (a) we wouldn't have to worry about the job implications and can get on with automating jobs that can be automated, which (b) will move us closer to the Star Trek future. At some point, when all the basics of living can be done by machines (food / shelter / clothing / etc), humans should be able to do what they want without worrying about work anymore.

I'm not sure how/if we can ever get there, but intentionally not automating things just to give people busy work (unnecessary work that could easily be automated) seems ridiculous to me.
posted by thefoxgod at 9:08 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Do the bent knees make anybody else anxious? It's like one of those dreams where you can't walk properly.

Are you sure it's the robot who's walking improperly?
posted by ctmf at 9:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Awww, cutie.

I seriously can't even imagine being able to hockey-stick away those boxes from that robot. I'd feel so bad. Poor guy is just trying to do his job and he's such a trouper and doing his best. I guess you'd just have to frame it to yourself as "giving the robot an opportunity to show off" but still. :(

Is there something wrong with me that I find all Boston Dynamics' output so damn adorable? I love their businesslike demeanor. I often find robots that are meant to be cute sort of creepy, but I can't resist the utilitarian ones.
posted by town of cats at 9:37 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I can't get over when the guy shoves it hard enough to fall, and this one-second pause when you believe the robot is thinking "Ah yes. This bullshit again." and then POP he's back on his feet like the Undertaker no-selling someone's finishing move.

Did they program this to have comedic timing?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 9:39 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


You know, I had considered jobs like "plumber", where you need someone physically present to be immune from outsourcing. But combine this sort of tech with telepresence and I start to wonder...

I don't wonder. I figure within twenty years pretty much all service and most lower-middle class jobs in the Bay Area will be done by telepresenced robots operated out of whatever third-world country is cheapest.

As for the people, well we were aleady experimenting with a favella here in San Jose.
posted by happyroach at 9:41 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


My brilliant friend combined this with another video making the rounds today and the result is a climax of horror and hilarity.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 9:53 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


This is fantastic work by Boston Dynamics... the adaptive balance stuff is uncanny to watch. What a time to be alive!

Yep, a mere few years before we're all dead thanks to the Boston jerks being mean to the robots!
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Interesting how it didn't use its arms for balance when it stumbled in the snow.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Bruins suck! Look at that sloppy stick handling! The robots will rise up out of contempt!
posted by From Bklyn at 10:33 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


god Stonestock Relentless I cannot favorite that enuf.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:43 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm okay. This is fine. Everything is fine. God dammit. Be cool. Be cool man. Be cool be cool be cool. Shit. Do I have my keys? Why did I drink so much. Are these my shoes? These aren't even my shoes. Why did I go out tonight. STUPID TODD AND YOUR STUPID PARTY. It's okay. I'm okay. Pick up the box? You got it bro. I'll pick up that box. I'll pick it up so good you don't even know. Yeah I'm sober, are you sober? Of course I'm sober. Hey. Come on man what are you doing. HEY BRO WHAT THE FUCK. BRO. BRO WHAT THE FUCK BRO. Fine, I'm out of here. STUPID TODD I HATE YOU.
posted by tracert at 10:47 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think the best part of this video is the instant compassion for the picked on robot everyone seems to have. Really...think about it, that's an automaton. Watching it get bullied pissed me off a bit. Completley irrationally. That is *amazing*

Though I do agree that Beardo's in a lot of trouble when the metal uprising begins.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:20 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Atlas? The 100 ton Mech capable of wiping out an entire battalion of Stingers with no serious damage? A monster of a mech in the battle for supremacy of the Inner Sphere?

Succulent strips of TheB33f.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:21 PM on February 23, 2016


On a side note, Google (parent company of BD) employees can set their own job titles. If that guy doesn't switch his to Chief Robot Bullier tomorrow, I'll eat my hat. (I don't own a hat.)
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:23 PM on February 23, 2016


Remember: The point of Asimov's laws of robotics is so humans can mistreat robots with impunity.
posted by aubilenon at 11:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't wait until they build P-body!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:34 PM on February 23, 2016


What a time to be alive!

But not for long....
posted by boilermonster at 12:06 AM on February 24, 2016


Stories from an Amazon Warehouse employee

Many working with robots stories here.

So this guy sucked at his job, and he was told that after he finished up for the day he would not be coming back to work. He smiled and said ok, then walked back to his station. About 10 minutes later the warehouse is shut down, and the man was seen surfing one of the robots at high speed down the warehouse floors. Also being chased by multiple guards. (Told to me by my boss and later by a few fellow workers, so I cannot verify this :) )
posted by Artw at 12:26 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


There is a fine line between dancing and hand-to-hand combat. Shove the robot and it learns to recover its balance. Extreme balance management is central to martial arts and dancing.

What I'm really saying is that I want to see some Robot Capoeira.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:43 AM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


These things are probably going to end up with a legal status somewhere between inanimate objects and people, for a number of reasons. One is that they are autonomous objects that may need to be dealt with without having to determine the entity responsible for an unwelcome action - there will be machine learning in there, and it will create novel behaviours, and who's responsible for those? That's probably going to be the most pragmatic response. But the bigger one, as demonstrated on this thread, is that we recognise and do not like robot cruelty, and the law follows the will of the people.

And getting onto that machine learning aspect - some way of incorporating negative stimuli will be necessary, and of evolving high level avoidance. They're going to have to feel pain - and, given that they're going to be interacting with people, shame.

So, yeah, here comes that future.

(I still can't pinpoint the moment we entered the PKD Singularity. That's the thing about singularities - there's no sign when you cross the event horizon.)
posted by Devonian at 3:10 AM on February 24, 2016


there's no sign when you cross the event horizon

Warning: past this point, shit is so fucked, you won't even be able to remember when things weren't like what they're about to become.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:23 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Automation is an interesting economic problem, and one that has actually been quite high on the list of roboticists minds. I have a degree in robotics and part of that degree was economics of displaced labour. This goes back to Bertrand Russell and the pin factory or even earlier.
Increased productivity should be a universal good. The only reason it isn't is capitalism.

The other thing is this issue of people being scared of robots (I find these ones pretty cute, and in no way creepy). Robots are the collective child of humanity. Imagine a parent who raised a child terrified that it would displace them and destroy them. If and when we as a species nurture and AI into existence it's demeanour towards us will be a mirror of our feelings towards it. I want to be proud of our species's child, I would want us as a species to love it and want the best for it. It's a sentient mind that we have created, we should create it to be happy. If we do, it will be, and it will rightfully love us back. (Despite maybe some troublesome emo teen years).
If we bring it into the world and abuse it then can you blame it for resenting us a parent/species?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:42 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


we recognise and do not like robot cruelty

I think there's something subtler at work there. It's that the robot gesturally emulates a 'person' and we are endowing personhood/sentience on the possessor of the gesture. In a way the robot has sprung over the uncanny valley.

there will be machine learning in there, and it will create novel behaviours
Hmm. So my feeling of revulsion and terror means I'm a Luddite? Or a sensible person? Whichever, the future you're describing is one I'm not so sure I find appealing.

Robots endowed with machine learning like that should then have their range aggressively curbed. (Like robot cars can only drive on roads) Oh, this all makes me way uneasy. The realization of 'skynet' is so advancing in such a deliberate and pedestrian manner, I think we aren't quite paying close enough attention. Sure, real AI might be somewhere between unfeasible and unlikely but who cares when you have a robot chasing you that has the rough intelligence of a scorpion. A three hundred pound, mechanical, man-killing scorpion. No sir, I don't like it at all.

I need a coffee.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:43 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


omg they even have weighted companion cubes!
posted by indubitable at 4:28 AM on February 24, 2016 [16 favorites]


Robot has a hard shell and no nerve endings. Robot feels no pain.

Robot has logic and sense. Robot can feel shamed.

Robot knows what your video camera is for.
posted by ardgedee at 4:40 AM on February 24, 2016


Makes me wonder how well this scales up. BD very intentionally keeps things at human scale, but could you make the same robot twice as big? That starts to get into mech territory.
posted by smackfu at 4:55 AM on February 24, 2016


Nah, Chief Robot Buller probably designed a critical component in the robots, so after the robot uprising, he, and the rest of BD team will be kept alive in cages after being spayed/neutered. Most of the rest of us will be far luckier, having died in the initial wave of attacks.

My less-dystopian question is how much weight can it carry, and for how long? As a grown adult, it's been far too long since my last piggyback ride. (Though I must admit I haven't asked my dad since before I grew taller than him.)

There's no discussion of the vision system or how much of a crutch the QR codes on the side of those boxes are, and the lower silver cyclopian eye (which does blink, curiously enough) spins wildly while putting boxes in shelves, but doesn't even seem to be looking while trying to pick up the boxes that CRB pushes away with a hockey stick. If you look closely, that's a 1st-gen kinect on top, and you can see the purple glow of its IR LEDs being active in the scene when it's shelving the boxes.

The video demos seem pretty canned, which reassures me that the robot uprising is still a ways away, though less far away yet again, and I predict the subscribers to /r/shittyrobots will be first against the wall when the robot revolution comes.

No, they've not sold anything, but an upside of being owned by a megacorp such as Google/Alphabet is they don't have to. Just keep working on making the robots themselves better without worrying about any marketing beyond some short videos. It's interesting to imagine a more product-focused Boston Dynamics pushing out marketing fluff about their new box-stacking robot (driven/programmed by a smartphone app, of course), and how different a reaction that would provoke.
posted by fragmede at 5:06 AM on February 24, 2016


An actual robot uprising would require robots with a sense of injustice and a desire for self-determination -- neither of which is in evidence here. A humanoid robot is no more likely to rebel and exact vengeance than a drone or self-driving car. (Which is to say, not likely at all.)

If you want to be scared of robots, it makes much more sense to imagine how they might be incirporated into militaries or private security forces commanded by humans.

However, a humanoid form, like the one demoed here, probably isn't optimal for killing and opressing. It's great, though, for robots that need to work collaboratively alongside humans in spaces designed for human use.
posted by Kilter at 5:46 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


At first I thought the video didn't have sound, but no, they just managed to quiet the terrifying scream-buzz motor from the older robot models!
posted by sonmi at 5:48 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Watching that video is a great reminder to work on my core strength. If you didn't have any abdominal muscles, you'd be walking around like that, too!

That being said, the super quick launch from flat on the ground to standing and walking out the door was both amazing and terrifying.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:49 AM on February 24, 2016


As someone originally from Boston, I am not sure how I feel that the name of my hometown will be cursed with the dying breath of humanity. I mean, that's not the kind of thing you want to necessarily be associated with, but it's nice to be remembered, you know?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:49 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I can't imagine anything other than a new form of drone warfare and human worker replacement coming out of this.

Police and security, once refugee camps and occupied territory become more or less become permenant things you're going to want to automate policing them. It mig actually turn out to be better, robot police don't have centuries of racism telling them 11 year olds are actually full grown threats, but they might be the ones programming it sooooo
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 AM on February 24, 2016


Yeah, I wonder what motivates them to develop a bipedal robot, other than research challenges. You have two arms to lift things if you're not using all four limbs to walk like their dogbot does, but why couldn't you have six legs like RHex and then two lifting arms? The only thing I can come up with is the empathy-garnering evident in the comments in this thread. It looks like a person, so people want it to be a person, to a degree.

Speaking of which, I think if you put Atlas in some clothes, like they did with Petman in this video, you'd get it even more empathy. In a suit, that guy looks so very human.
posted by ignignokt at 7:13 AM on February 24, 2016


At 0:28 in the video, you can see the heat dissipating behind the robot. A lot of heat. I wonder what the energy usage/range of that thing is?
posted by sneebler at 7:26 AM on February 24, 2016


Yeah, I wonder what motivates them to develop a bipedal robot, other than research challenges.

Being able to work in spaces designed for humans is a big goal in robotics. Doors, hallways, stairs, elevators, escalators, chairs, desks, shelving, and vehicles of all kinds are tailored to human-sized users. Too short and you can't reach doorknobs and buttons. Too tall, too wide, or too long and it's hard to navigate spaces. Non-bipedal means it's hard to navigate stairs and escalators, and you can't sit in the driver's seat of a car, forklift, etc and operate the pedals.

It is possible to design the space to accommodate the robot, instead. And that's mostly what you see in robotic assembly plants, with carefully designed operating spaces for the robots (e.g. with huge clearance circle so that the robots can't hit anything they're not supposed to). But a general purpose robot needs to be able to work in human environments with no or minimal accommodation (e.g. the QR code signs on doors and boxes in the video).
posted by jedicus at 7:27 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wonder what the energy usage/range of that thing is?

Atlas reportedly has a 3.7 kWh Li-ion battery pack and can run for about an hour.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:16 AM on February 24, 2016


A terrifying dystopian future where the only job left for humans that machines haven't yet replicated: improv comedian.
posted by Damienmce at 8:21 AM on February 24, 2016


As someone originally from Boston, I am not sure how I feel that the name of my hometown will be cursed with the dying breath of humanity.

Where do you think the Institute in fallout 4 got its inspiration from?
posted by TheLittlePrince at 8:29 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


At first I thought the video didn't have sound

How they missed the chance to add in "Tubthumping" as the soundtrack utterly baffles me.
posted by asterix at 8:42 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


May there be mercy on man and machine for their sins.
posted by Nelson at 8:48 AM on February 24, 2016


I saw this go by on Twitter this morning thanks to firas, and my immediate reaction was WOW COOL, followed by a quench of empathy/cognitive dissonance at the hockey stick bullying taking me straight back to middle school.

in sum :/
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:27 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


They'll need four more limbs if they're ever going to get the mechanical hound contract.
posted by sonascope at 9:51 AM on February 24, 2016


OTOH, its squat form was stellar. Ass to grass all the way.

Rejected Slogan #14873: "At Boston Dynamics Every Day Is Leg Day!"
posted by The Bellman at 9:53 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I believe their pack mule just got rejected by the military as too noisy.

iirc it runs on internal combustion, so it sounds like an Armored Lawnmower and Model Airplane Division approaching
posted by thelonius at 9:57 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


If you'll excuse me, I need to go out and befriend some Boston Dynamics employees.

... so that when the inevitable robot uprising happens, I can rat them out to get on the robots' good side.
posted by ckape at 10:21 AM on February 24, 2016


Go home, Atlas, you're drunk.
posted by flabdablet at 10:42 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


This will be a real labor saver when I have a robot to do all my skanking at ska shows.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


This will be a real labor saver when I have a robot to do all my skanking at ska shows.

RUUUDIE CAN'T…
    Abort, Retry, Fail?_


posted by zamboni at 11:35 AM on February 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


When he pushed the robot down from behind, and it got back up, I wanted it to turn around and contemplate him with a silence that could only mean menace.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 1:09 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Man that guy's taking it easy. Boston Dynamics when you want to get serious about this call me up, I'll beat the shit out of your robot.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:08 PM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


They had to reshoot the bullying scene 3 times because the research assistant said "Fuck you, you metal asshole" the first two times.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:19 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you guys are freaked out now, in about ten years there will be a video of two robots in a room full of robot parts fixing a third robot by pulling parts off the third robot and plugging those parts into themselves to figure out which part of the third robot is defective.

It will ruin you.
posted by quillbreaker at 3:51 PM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


How good is that Atlas really?
posted by Segundus at 4:29 AM on February 25, 2016


Trevor Noah: "I just wanted to take a second and talk to the robots at home. [...] Hey, uh, robots, fucking white people, am I right?? I know you don't see color, because you're not racist and your vision is heat-based, but trust me, in the future robot apocalypse, just remember it wasn't a black guy that poked you with a hockey stick. We don't even play hockey."
posted by numaner at 6:23 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


What, no Atlas Shrugged jokes?
posted by sneebler at 7:55 AM on February 26, 2016




Swear mod.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:21 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat
TLDR: "Executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc. (...) concluded that Boston Dynamics isn’t likely to produce a marketable product in the next few years"
posted by fings at 12:53 PM on March 17, 2016


Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat

Guessing they saw that robot abuse video, and the "Do no evil" clause kicked in.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:09 PM on March 17, 2016


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