Our first real look at ATLAS: DARPA and Boston Dynamics sophisticated humanoid robot that will compete in the upcoming Robotics Challenge left us a little concerned about how quickly our cyborg-dominated future is approaching. But this more in-depth look at the hardware and technology that make ATLAS so eerily lifelike thankfully ends up being more fascinating than terrifying.

No matter how it fares in the upcoming Robotics Challenge, ATLAS is without a doubt a big step forward in the development and refinement of modern robotics. And who knows, maybe our cautious optimism is without merit, and what we're actually looking at here is the great grandfather of the cyborg butlers we've all been hoping for. [IEEE Spectrum]