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Boston Dynamics’ ATLAS Robot Is Now a Backflipping Cyborg Supersoldier

10 minutes ago, I was cautiously optimistic that one day we’d live and work side-by-side with robots in perfect harmony. Then Boston Dynamics posted a video of its ATLAS humanoid robot performing incredible jumps and backflips, and now I’m ready to go find a cave somewhere and hide.

We haven’t seen much of ATLAS since Google sold Boston Dynamics to Softbank, aside from a few bloopers that gave humanity a false sense of superiority. But this brief one-minute video shows the robot jumping on and off platforms, spinning in the air, and performing a perfect backflip. A BACKFLIP! That’s the kind of thing you only see robots doing in the movies, but it’s apparently now our sobering reality.

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DISCUSSION

OK, even though I read the article, I did not expect this. It doesn’t even have a flexible spine, but it lands so gracefully! Just what the hell is this thing going to be doing in the next five years?