Despite all the concerns about artificial intelligence and the quick progression of the robotics’ industry, it is easy to dismiss worry as neither technology is, as of now, ready for world domination. The robots don’t yet look like anything we’re inclined to anthropomorphize, many of them are clumsy, and they’re usually shackled to a power cable tether. Boston Dynamics’ has shattered that impression with its new unsettling video of one of its robots taking a jog through the woods.
On August 15, Boston Dynamics released a video showing a canine-like robot and its previously seen humanoid Atlas robot, the latter of which first took a stroll through the woods, then went for a fast jog down what appears to be a walking trail in the woods. The robot is surprisingly capable at the task, though it does still feature the power cable tether.
If you’re just interested in the part where the robot goes for a run, skip to the 1:06 minute mark in the video above. The jog is a little awkward at this point — the robot is hunched over a bit and runs with its knees perpetually bent. It maintains its balance, however, and so it isn’t hard to imagine that more human-like running is in its near future.
The Atlas robot aside, the first four-legged robot we see in the video is Spot, and it can open doors far better than your pet dog…using its face. Which has an arm. What’s next? A version of the Atlas robot that can go for a run in the woods without the power tether, giving it a whole new level of autonomy.