Boston Dynamics is testing the Atlas robot outside.

The Boston Dynamics Robot Can Walk in the Woods Now, and It’s All Getting Very Blair Witch

The Boston Dynamics Robot Can Walk in the Woods Now, and It’s All Getting Very Blair Witch

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 18 2015 8:15 AM

The Boston Dynamics Robot Can Walk in the Woods Now, and It’s All Getting Very Blair Witch

atlas
Atlas running outside.

Photo from Boston Dynamics

The humanoid Atlas robot has gotten more powerful and refined over the last few years, and at MIT’s FAB 11 conference earlier this month, Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert talked about its adventures in "this world," aka outside.

Atlas has gotten good at walking on super-rocky test courses and keeping its balance when researchers try to throw it off, but it's also been venturing out into real-world conditions. (It still has to be tethered to a power source, but Boston Dynamics says it is working on a cordless model.)

Raibert said, "All kinds of stuff happens out there [in the world], and we're making pretty good progress on making it so it has mobility that's sort of within shooting range of yours. I'm not saying it can do everything you can do, but you can imagine, if we keep pushing we'll get there."

The video might make you feel like you're watching human progress, or perhaps it evokes memories of The Blair Witch Project, except instead of heavy breathing you hear the rhythmic sound of Atlas' mechanized joints. But is Atlas being chased or doing the chasing?

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