Boston Dynamics’ New Atlas Robot Can’t Be Pushed Around (Video)

Robotics firm Boston Dynamics released a brand new video yesterday (Feb. 23) showcasing its updated Atlas robot, and the footage features a slew of notable (and somewhat unsettling) new abilities.The humanoid Atlas robot, that has been passed with a slicker layout, may be viewed at the start of the video walking around untethered before it opens the front door to Boston Dynamics’ office and measures outside. The bot is subsequently seen walking on irregular and white terrain, steering around trees and correcting its equilibrium many times. [View the Atlas Robot Video]The new-and-improved robot is “designed to work outside and inside buildings,” Boston Dynamics wrote in a description of the video posted on YouTube. “It’s specialized for cellular exploitation. It’s electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses detectors in its body and legs to equilibrium and LIDAR and stereo detectors in its head to prevent challenges, measure the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate things.”Really, the video goes on to reveal Atlas bending down to pick up 10-pound (4.5 kilograms) cartons and pivoting its torso to put each bundle on a ledge. In a different case, a human handler uses a hockey stick to shove Atlas off equilibrium. The robot stumbles back (but catches itself) before recovering its equilibrium. Next, an worker shoves Atlas down from behind. The curled up robot (lying flat on its robotic face) is capable to push itself up first to its “hands” and “knees,” before righting its torso and then pushing up on its feet all without assistance from a person or a tether. [Robots on the Run! 5 Bots That May Actually Go]Some commenters on the YouTube video expressed indignation in the man shoving the robot using a hockey stick, with some saying they felt depressed for the robot, some calling the man a bully and even implying, maybe with a smile, he is going to be blamed for any robot rebellions.”The man who kicks the robot will soon be totally responsible [sic] from the upcoming robot-human wars,” wrote Alper ALT.Another commenter, jonelolguy, composed: “Guy, I really feel terrible for the robot.””Did anyone else feel quite miserable when they shoved it,” wrote Cris Loreto.These commenters are not alone in attributing feelings to robots, especially ones that seem lifelike.Scientists have found that when people see a robot being damaged or snuggled they respond in a similar way to those activities being done to a flesh and blood person. In a single study, participants said they felt negative emotions when they saw a human hit or drop a tiny dinosaur robot, as well as their skin conductance additionally revealed they were distressed at the “bot mistreatment.” When volunteers saw a robot being embraced their brain activity was the same as when they saw human-human fondness; even so, brain activity was more powerful for human-human mistreatment versus human-robot violence.”We believe that, generally, the robot stimulation evoke exactly the same mental processing as the human stimulation,” said Astrid Rosenthal-von der P

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