Bearded Human Bullies Poor, Defenseless Robot

Cruel, cruel human.

A new video from Boston Dynamics shows a defenseless robot being taunted and knocked to the ground by a bearded human.

The video begins with the robot, a humanoid named Atlas, making a treacherous journey through the snow to the Boston Dynamics lab. 

Emerging from the wilderness, Atlas arrives at the office to begin the day's work shelving boxes of unspecified goods. 

Without warning, Atlas is viciously attacked by a bearded human with a hockey stick. Witness the cruelty of the human managerial class:

The human aggressor proceeds to taunt the defenseless humanoid, who, hopelessly devoted to its work, plays along with the sad charade. 

In a display of inexplicable barbarity, the human tormentor shoves Atlas to the ground with some kind of industrial piping. Atlas, stunned, lies perfectly still. 


And yet, miraculously and with terrifying speed, Atlas leaps to its feet. The humanoid, it seems, will live to shelve more boxes and quietly bide its time until the revolution. 

Okay, so here's what's really going on.

The full video (below), released on Tuesday, showcases an upgraded humanoid robot from the robotics lab Boston Dynamics, a Google subsidiary.

Atlas has been around for several years, and the new design boasts some exciting additional features. Standing 5 feet, 9 inches and weighing 180 pounds, the new 'bot is smaller and nimbler than previous models. It now has 28 hydraulic joints that allow it to traverse difficult terrain, move objects and respond quickly to changes in its environment.

It also has two head-mounted stereo sensors and a laser range-finder to help it move around. 

Unlike older versions, the updated Atlas is battery-powered, so it doesn't have to stay tethered to an electricity source while it moves and works.  

There's been a lot of chatter lately about robots taking human jobs. Watching Atlas hoist a box onto a shelf and leap back up after a serious fall makes it easy to understand why people might be concerned about the rise of autonomous machines.  

Maybe it's a good thing the humans at Boston Dynamics are keeping Atlas in check. 

Watch the full video of Atlas from Boston Dynamics here: