Boston Dynamics unveils ‘creepy’ robot to replace Atlas

‘You guys need to rewatch Terminator,’ one engineer commented

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 17 April 2024 19:23 BST
Boston Dynamics unveiled the new Atlas robot on 17 April, 2024
Boston Dynamics unveiled the new Atlas robot on 17 April, 2024 (Boston Dynamics)

Robotics firm Boston Dynamics has unveiled its latest humanoid bot just a day after pulling the plug on its industry-leading Atlas machine.

The new all-electric Atlas replaces the hydraulic version, which gained headlines in recent years for its parkour feats and ability to perform a back flip.

In a video posted to its social media accounts on Wednesday, Boston Dynamics showed the next-generation robot standing up from a lying-down position.

Despite its human shape, the method it used to stand up would be impossible for a person to perform, leading some to comment that the robot appeared “creepy” and “scary”.

Software developer Matthias Götzke responded to Boston Dynamics’ post:“Why always make it so creepy though?”

Engineer Aaditya Raman added: “You guys need to rewatch Terminator.”

Boston Dynamics said the humanoid design was to allow the robot to work and operate in environments built for humans, while the unnatural movements were actually an improvement on the limitations of the human body.

“We designed the electric version of Atlas to be stronger, more dexterous, and more agile,” the company said in a blog post introducing the new robot.

“Atlas may resemble a human form factor, but we are equipping the robot to move in the most efficient way possible to complete a task, rather than being constrained by a human range of motion. Atlas will move in ways that exceed human capabilities.

The US firm said the new robot has been designed for “real-world applications” that can help solve the “toughest challenges in industry today”.

The first uses for Atlas will be by Korean automotive giant Hyundai, who will use it to boost its manufacturing capabilities.

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