Next-gen robot bounces back from bullying

Image: Pushing a robot
A researcher gives the next-generation Atlas robot a good, hard push. (Credit: Boston Dynamics)

We already know that Boston Dynamics’ robots can run with the big dogs and go dashing through the snow. But can they pick up and put away 10-pound boxes? And can they pick themselves up after being pushed down by bullies?

Yes, they can. Heaven help us, they can.

A newly released video shows the company’s next-generation, two-legged Atlas robot keeping its balance while it walks through the woods on a rough, snowy trail. But things get really eerie when Atlas is put in a warehouse setting, where the robot picks up boxes and slides them onto shelves. It just keeps going, even when a bothersome human takes a hockey stick and slaps the box out of its arms.

When the human goes into full Terminator mode and pushes Atlas over, the machine pushes itself back on its knees, straightens up, and just walks out the door.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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