here you go
! Welcome to the party: There's chips in the living room and we're all going to form a sobbing circle in the living room about eight, just before the suicide pact kicks in.
The video up top is of their newest striding horror, Petman. It's got all the unsettling, nauseating, not-quite-life of Big Dog, but this time it's making a mockery out of people instead of our four-legged friends. The technology itself is kind of a big deal, because Petman utilizes a human-like heel/toe stride instead of the more hesitant, unstable stomping that other robots employ. And at about 25 seconds in, thanks to the bravest (and soon to be most-kicked-to-death) intern at Boston Dynamics, you can really see that stability on display when the man tries, and fails to push it over. It should also be noted that nobody bought it those goofy tennis shoes: They all just showed up to the lab one morning to find it already wearing them. On an unrelated note: Dr. Witstein's niece Penny went missing on her tour of the lab the other day, and her family is very concerned. Please call Security if you have any information.
Oh, but Petman is just the beta version -- a demonstration of the walking concept. The actual robot to be deployed on the battlefield is called Atlas, and here's a quote explaining it, pulled from Boston Dynamics' own promo text: "Atlas will have a torso, two arms and two legs, and will be capable of climbing and maneuvering in rough terrain. It will sometimes walk upright as a biped, sometimes turning sideways to squeeze through narrow passages, and sometimes crawl, using its hands for extra support, speed and balance."
Whatever the hell this is, I'm sure nobody will ever regret giving it "extra speed."
Picture it: It's a foggy night, and you're on your way home from the late shift at work. In the distance, you hear strange, muffled footsteps. You can't quite pinpoint where they're coming from, but there's just something...off about the gait: It's bouncy and a little unsteady, like a happy drunk, but moving way too fast for that. Eventually, a form resolves out of the mist. It is something like a man, but broader, more angular, and -- good god, lacking a head! It approaches you quickly, and with purpose. You finally snap out of the shock, and turn to flee. You glance back over your shoulder, just in time to see it drop to all fours, like an ape, the skittering footsteps picking up speed...
Oh, man. I'm sorry. I'm over-reacting again, aren't I? Atlas clearly isn't built to chase down human prey.
That's Cheetah, their next project already in the works right now.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you could just start running. Apparently you're going to need the head start.