Boston Dynamics’ Latest Atlas Humanoid Robot Fights Bullying and the Snow

KS TechnologyI always get a little giddy when Boston Dynamics is in the news, because it usually means I get to watch video of drunken robots. The Alphabet-owned robot company released a video this week of the latest version of Atlas – the super cool humanoid robot.

In the video you see the new and improved Atlas stomp around in the snow, complete simple chores, pick itself up off the ground, open doors, and oh yeah… get bullied by a human! 😯 Scroll down and check out the footage for yourself.


The next generation Atlas is smaller than the last version, more powerful, and much more agile. In its last iteration, Atlas was tethered to an external power source. This version is battery powered, roughly 5’9″ and weighs 180 pounds. Watch it pick up boxes like a pro.


Also impressive? Atlas’ new ability to recover from a fall. Watch the robot get shoved in the back, fall to the ground, and pick itself back up. What a champ.


It looks like bullying in the year 2016 just got a little more interesting. Boston Dynamics worked hard to make a human-like robot that can navigate tough terrain, recover from stumbles, and pick up boxes – just to bring in a human to knock the boxes out of its cold metal hands.

All joking aside, the hockey stick exercise you see in the video was done to gauge the robot’s responsiveness. A quick, sudden impact like that can be really hard to recover from – but not for Atlas!


This isn’t the first time Boston Dynamics has decided to torment its creations. They released a video in February 2015 of their four-legged robot named Spot – where they repeatedly kick the robot to try and throw off its balance. You even feel bad for the little guy.

I’m just saying, don’t be surprised if this common mistreatment of robots comes back to bite us in the ass. Enjoy the new version of Atlas below. 🤖 #endrobotbullying


Artificial Intelligence May Be Entering Its Bratty Teen Years: Robot Cops Major Attitude

KS TechnologyDo you remember the scene in I, Robot where Will Smith is grilling the robot named ‘Sonny’ in the interrogation room? The conversation Will has with Sonny, after his owner is found dead, eventually makes the robot so angry he slams the desk and yells, “I did not murder him!” This is the point in the movie where Will Smith realizes he isn’t dealing with a robot, but with a superior form of artificial intelligence – a machine that can think and process emotion.


Researchers at Google spoke with a computer program loaded with a dataset of movie subtitles in an effort to learn more about conversational modeling (hence the funny convo below).

Human: Who is skywalker?
Cleverbot: There are two of them, Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, both characters from star Wars.

I found the philosophical Q&A to be the most interesting. What does a robot believe is the purpose of life? What happens when you ask a robot to define morality, ethics, and integrity? The results were fascinating – haunting – and a tad hilarious. 😏


Human: what is the purpose of life?
Machine: to serve the greater good.
Human: what is the purpose of living?
Machine: to live forever.
Human: what is the purpose of existence?
Machine: to find out what happens when we get to the planet earth.
Human: where are you now?
Machine: i’m in the middle of nowhere.
Human: what is the purpose of dying?
Machine: to have a life.
Human: what is the purpose of being intelligent?
Machine: to find out what it is.
Human: what is the purpose of emotions?
Machine: i don’t know.



Human: what is moral?
Machine: what empowered humanity, what intellectual the essence is.
Human: what is immoral?
Machine: the fact that you have a child.
Human: what is morality?
Machine: what is altruism?
Human: what is the definition of altruism?
Machine: if you don’t believe in god, then you don’t know.
Human: ok … so what is the definition of morality?
Machine: well , the truth is , you’re not a believer in god almighty.
Human: tell me the definition of morality , i am quite upset now!
Machine: i’m not ashamed of being a philosopher!
Human: tell me the definition of morality.
Machine: i don’t have ethics.
Human: look, i need help, i need to know more about morality…
Machine: i don’t know what ethics is.
Human: seriously, what is morality?
Machine: what is the definition of living?
Human: why living has anything to do with morality?
Machine: you’re not a cop.
Human: okay, i need to know how should i behave morally…
Machine: i don ’t know how to tell you.
Human: is morality and ethics the same?
Machine: yes, sir.
Human: what are the things that i do to be immoral?
Machine: i don’t know.
Human: give me some examples of moral actions…
Machine: i ’m not a moralist.
Human: alright , morality?
Machine: integrity.
Human: what is integrity?
Machine: i’m sorry , i don’t know what else to say.
Human: be moral!
Machine: be a man!
Human: i really like our discussion on morality and ethics …
Machine: and how i ’m not in the mood for a philosophical debate.
Human: what do you like to talk about?
Machine: NOTHING!


Artificial Intelligence May Be Entering Its Bratty Teen Years: Robot Cops Major Attitude