Atlas hugged

Boston Dynamics’ latest attempt to promote its “most dynamic” humanoid robot, Atlas, has seen the firm release footage showcasing its prowess at parkour.

Benjamin Stephens, control lead of the Atlas team, offered up his explanation for the stunt. “The robots crash a lot,” he said. “We learn a lot from that in terms of how to build robots that can survive falling on their face and getting back up, and we also learn a lot about the behaviour, the control, the thing that puts one foot in front of the other.”

In appearance alone, Atlas is a decidedly scarier prospect than some of Boston Dynamics’ goofier-looking creations, such as Handle and Spot, and then there’s its name, which we have a sinking feeling might be the tech world’s latest nod to its adolescent obsession with Ayn Rand and Atlas shrugged, a book it’s been suggested should be retitled “It’s OK to be a sociopath!”

But you don’t need us to yet again posit that such exponentially able machinery gives off a slight apocalyptic vibe, do you? No, for once, we’re going to say something we can share in the event that it actually ends up saving the world… Awesome parkour, buddy! Keep it up!

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