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kottke.org posts about Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics’ new house-trained robot

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 24, 2016

Boston Dynamics has a new 55-pound robot with an arm that looks like a head. It gets up after slipping on banana peels and can load your delicate glassware into the dishwasher.

Do they deliberately make these videos unsettling and creepy? Or is that just me? That last scene, where the robot kinda lunges at the guy and then falls over…I might have nightmares about that.

Giant new robot excels at taking human abuse

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 24, 2016

Boston Dynamics, creator of the Big Dog prancing robot, has upgraded their Atlas robot, which can walk on two legs, open doors, stack boxes, walk on slippery terrain, recover from being shoved, etc. And everyone’s all HA HA HA TERMINATOR but soon enough the HA HAs will become less hearty and more nervous. It took human ancestors hundreds of thousands of years to evolve from quadrupeds to bipeds and Boston Dynamics has done the same in just a few years.

Mark my words: no good will come of playing box keep-away with robots and treating them like, well, machines. It’s already started…did you notice Atlas didn’t even look behind itself to see if it needed to hold the door for anyone? And you think manspreading on the subway is a problem…wait until we have to deal with robotspreading by robots whose ancestors we shoved with hockey sticks.

Update: The hockey stick is back, accompanied by some “robust” tail pulling:

When the entire corpus of YouTube casually becomes a training ground for “young” AI programs, the bots are going to watch this and be all like, “WTF!?” and it’s gonna be on.