Boston Dynamic Videos Foreshadow Equally Fascinating and Terrifying Future

The company's series of robots continue to push the boundaries of what robots can do.
Donovan Alexander

At this point, you should just accept that there is a good chance that your robotic overlords will be born in the labs of Boston Dynamics. Every so often the company teases the public with the gradual evolution of their robots and their capabilities. 


But, maybe we are getting too ahead of ourselves. For the uninitiated Boston Dynamics is a robotics company dedicated to, "changing your idea of what robots can do."

From their popular humanoid robot Atlas doing backflips to their four-legged SpotMini opening doors and fighting off stick-wielding men, Boston Dynamics has consistently developed robots that have applications in both the military and consumer products industries; and simply their videos are fun to watch.

Though the robots occasionally freak out Elon Musk, the company has made an effort to ensure that these robots are developed to make the lives of their human creators a lot easier. Let's take a quick look back at some of the Boston Dynamics most intriguing (or scary) breakthroughs.

Atlas Shrugged, Jumped and Flipped

True to their core, Boston Dynamics is rewriting the book on what robots can actually do and their humanoid, Atlas, is probably the poster-child for these impressive capabilities. You have probably seen videos of Atlas floating around the web. The Atlas robot can do parkour, leap over logs, and jump between wooden crates. Atlas probably even can do a flip better than you. 

Nevertheless, this robot is more of an inspirational robot and aspirational robot, showcasing where Boston Dynamics plans to take the world of robotics in the near future. 

SpotMini Resisted its Creators 

So if you are a fan of Black Mirror this robot may look oddly familiar. That is because that killer robot from season 4 was modeled off of the creepily cute SpotMini. There have been many great SpotMini videos out there but one of the most memorable is when SpotMini displayed the ability to commit to its set task even if a human gets in the way.

The aim of the "robustness test" was to demonstrate its ability to automatically adjust to and tolerate disturbances when trying to accomplish a set goal. 

Only weighing 30 kg, SpotMini is an all-electric robot that moves a bit like a dog. With its 5 degree-of-freedom arm and impressive sensor suite featuring stereo cameras and depth cameras, SpotMini can easily navigate and office space or general facility to complete tasks. From opening doors to moving eerily quick, these Boston Dynamics videos are some of the most entertaining to watch.

Handle Robot Might Not Be So Bad

Boston Dynamic's Handle robot is probably the most appealing and less scary robot of the group; as this robot has a very specific purpose of tackling supply-chain challenges. Almost mesmerizing to watch, Handle is a mobile manipulation robot designed for logistics. The robot "handles" packaging and is able to transport packages to the appropriate set positions all by itself. Handle probably won't kill us.

A Look Inside Boston Dynamics Facility 

The Boston Dynamics video gives a brief look at how some of the robots mentioned on this list are tested, and in true Boston Dynamic fashion, the video is both fascinating and creepy.

Training to be the best robots they can be, the facility highlights the countless hours and precision the Boston Dynamics team puts into creating our future robot overlords. 

What is your favorite Boston Dynamic video?  

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