Home Tech The robot Atlas has died. Long live the Atlas robot

The robot Atlas has died. Long live the Atlas robot

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 The robot Atlas has died. Long live the Atlas robot

You don’t need to have been petrified by the murderous cyborg commissioned by Skynet for Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1984. The terminator worry that super-strong, all-terrain, bipedal humanoid robots that run up stairs, do backflips, and right themselves might be programmed to snap our necks on sight. (And laser guns, never give them laser guns.)

With Old Atlas, we could console ourselves with the idea that clever editing meant that Atlas didn’t right itself on difficult terrain like the original viral videos showed it to. The errors in the retirement video prove that the hunch was correct. However, today’s video could very well resurrect any fears of a robot overlord you’ve since suppressed. This thing is scary, and not just because it has a ring of light for a face. (Who had “YouTube Influencer Robot” on their 2024 bingo card?)

It was a pleasure meeting you, Old Atlas, you awesome, goofy, parkour, metal machine man.

It’s also scary if you’re an Amazon warehouse worker, because the New Atlas could do that job with a three-fingered hand strapped behind its matte gray robotic rear. Most likely, however, Hyundai, which bought Boston Dynamics in 2020, valuing it at $1 billion, may soon put Atlas to work in its car factories. The “journey will begin with Hyundai,” confirmed Boston Dynamics in a sentence announcing the launch of the new Atlas.

Again, no details have been released, but we can assume that the new Atlas will be tasked with boring, repetitive tasks in the Korean company’s factories instead of, say, laser welding. (Remember, keep lasers away from robotic butlers.)

Hyundai is not the only company planning to use humanoid robots as workers. Beating out Tesla’s still-in-development Optimus line of humanoid robots, Canada’s Sanctuary AI announced on April 11 that it would deliver a humanoid robot to Magna, an Austrian automotive company that assembles cars for Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW.

And California robotics startup Figure announced in February that it had raised 675 million dollars from investors such as Nvidia, Microsoft and Amazon to work with OpenAI on generative artificial intelligence for humanoid robots.

A general-purpose humanoid robot that can learn on the fly. What could go wrong with that?

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