Skip to Content
Artificial intelligence

Yes, Atlas is running, but please don’t panic

A new video shows the world’s most advanced humanoid robot running merrily through fields and leaping over logs. It’s a remarkable feat of engineering, but don’t be too alarmed: there are still some significant limitations.

Run: Boston Dynamics has received plenty of attention for videos of eerily lifelike legged robots in action. The latest clip shows the company’s two-legged machine, Atlas, running and jumping with impressive speed. This is incredibly difficult for a two-legged machine to do on uneven ground. It requires a very sensitive sense of balance and lightning reflexes.

One step closer: The feat is progress toward enabling robots to go anywhere a person can. Boston Dynamics was founded by Marc Raibert, a roboticist who has done pioneering work on having robots balance themselves dynamically. Raibert previously ran a lab at CMU, and then one at MIT.

Chill: People often get a bit creeped out by the Boston Dynamics robots, but there are several reasons why you shouldn’t be the least bit worried about Atlas. For one thing, it’s operated by a person wielding a large remote control. For another, the robot is incredibly expensive and power hungry. And finally, it is still quite prone to falling over.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

What are AI agents? 

The next big thing is AI tools that can do more complex tasks. Here’s how they will work.

What is AI?

Everyone thinks they know but no one can agree. And that’s a problem.

How to use AI to plan your next vacation

AI tools can be useful for everything from booking flights to translating menus.

Why Google’s AI Overviews gets things wrong

Google’s new AI search feature is a mess. So why is it telling us to eat rocks and gluey pizza, and can it be fixed?

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.