Halloween is upon us, and what better way to usher in the Dia de los Muertos than to showcase Boston Dynamics, builders of some of the most advanced robots around. Also, the most weird and creepy. Plus their research is funded by DARPA, so no nefarious purposes there, right? In all seriousness, I think the robots are incredible, and I love DARPA, but allow me to keep my theater of the absurd hat on for a little while longer. On that note, allow me to present to you a Robot Creepshow, featuring some of Boston Dynamics’ most dastardly creations.
You’ve probably seen Big Dog, with its weird spindly legs, hig-pitched drone, and an uneasy gait resembling a newborn calf. One thing I’ve noticed about Boston Dynamics robots is that you connect with them. When they kick Big Dog to test its balance, you feel for it.
UPDATE: They put an arm on it that can toss a cinder block across the room.
Someday this thing will be chasing you down a dark alley. Straight out of Fahrenheit 451, the Cheetah broke robot speed records.
When the Boston Dynamics team shoves Big Dog, you feel bad. When they push PETMAN, you get nervous. The army-boot-wearing, humanoid machine can be seen marching towards your doom and showing off by doing some push-ups. The last words you’ll ever hear are a metallic voice saying, “Bro, do you even lift?”
PETMAN’s successor, Atlas, is the inspiration behind today’s comic and can be seen here navigating an obstacle course like a boss. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
This might be my favorite of them all. The aptly-named Sand Flea not only has some serious jumping capabilities, but can also take a fall with surprising resilience.
Of course, Boston Dynamics isn’t the only company making really creepy robots. Stay tuned, and we’ll have some gems from the land of creepy and awkward: JAPAN.