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Good News: This Terrifying Android Just Learned How to Run

A priceless skill for hunting humans to extinction.
May 11, 2018, 9:15pm

As we, the people of Earth, lazily occupy ourselves with Grusk memes and videos of poorly-behaved children on Instagram, the terrifying minds at Boston Dynamics are quietly becoming the real-life Cyberdyne Systems. The MIT researchers have already crafted a creepy robot dog that can run, leap, and open doors like some kind of metallic velociraptor, and from the looks of a new video, they're making some serious progress on their Terminator-like humanoid, Atlas, too.


On Thursday, Boston Dynamics released a video showing off Atlas's new abilities, which basically involve being able to run and jump with ease—great skills to have if you're a bloodthirsty robot hellbent on chasing down a human and tearing them apart limb by limb, right?

In the video, Atlas jogs across a grassy field, navigating the uneven terrain without taking a tumble, and even manages to detect and hop over a log in its path. Sure, it might not seem like Atlas is ready to rise up and lay waste to us puny meat bags just yet: The robot's running abilities are jerky and methodical, and it isn't all that fast. But if science fiction taught us anything, it's that evil androids don't need to be particularly spry to wreak absolute havoc on humanity.

As if a running, jumping robot man wasn't enough to worry about for one day, Boston Dynamics dropped a second video showing off SpotMini, one of the dog bots, zipping around an obstacle course and running up a flight of stairs unassisted.

And if a robot dog ascending a staircase doesn't sound particularly horrifying to you, think again. Someday soon, SpotMini's self-aware descendant might just use the skill to climb up to the attic you've barricaded yourself in before it recharges its batteries on the sweet, sweet electrical current from your dying body. Behold, the horror that awaits us all:

In the near future, as you and your children steal more than your share of processed nutrient rations and make an unsuccessful attempt to flee into the woods, only to be hunted down and dragged back to the barracks by your robot overlord's powerful metal claws, think back on this moment. Know that you have only Boston Dynamics to thank. Long live the new, metallic flesh.

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