Boston Dynamics Built A New Robot For Hyundai, And It Will Haunt Your Dreams

Atlas is here to chew bubble gum and kick the Tesla robot's ass and it wasn't designed with a mouth.

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Image for article titled Boston Dynamics Built A New Robot For Hyundai, And It Will Haunt Your Dreams
Screenshot: Boston Dynamics

Atlas is dead, long live Atlas. The hydraulically-articulated version of Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot was retired last week in favor of its electric motor-driven version introduced on Wednesday. Hyundai is majority owner of Boston Dynamics, and the new all-electric Atlas will eventually replace the company’s workers on factory floors, maybe starting with the ones who voted to unionize. “The humanoid form factor is a useful design for robots working in a world designed for people,” says Boston Dynamics. Yeah, and they don’t take breaks or ask for raises, either.

The new Atlas is much more trim and sleek than the version it replaces, and with full articulation of each joint, it can do more than the old one could. For example, in the video below, you can see the new Atlas stand up like a demonically possessed monster from “The Exorcist” or some shit.

All New Atlas | Boston Dynamics

The old Atlas was already capable of doing standard manual labor jobs, lifting and maneuvering heavy objects, picking up and placing things with mechanical precision, and negotiating irregular terrain in a weird quasi-parkour-style. Here are some of the ways Boston Dynamics hopes the new Atlas will be better than the old one.

However, that form factor doesn’t limit our vision of how a bipedal robot can move, what tools it needs to succeed, and how it can help people accomplish more. We designed the electric version of Atlas to be stronger, more dexterous, and more agile. Atlas may resemble a human form factor, but we are equipping the robot to move in the most efficient way possible to complete a task, rather than being constrained by a human range of motion. Atlas will move in ways that exceed human capabilities. Combining decades of practical experience with first principles thinking, we are confident in our ability to deliver a robot uniquely capable of tackling dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks in real applications.


Not much is known about the new robot, but it’s definitely not Grimes in a robot costume. The short introduction video for Atlas 2.0 is little more than the bot standing up, turning around like the fuckin’ T1000, walking toward the camera, and walking away. The new bot has articulating fingers—so it can probably pick up an egg—and an unsettling empty void where a face should be.

Maybe companies should stop trying to replace blue collar workers and figure out how to automate their expensive CEOs.