Boston Dynamics, the robotics company Google acquired in its mad robotics spree two years ago, is very good at making robots that can handle a surprise — or take a beating.
Here’s its latest. Meet Atlas, an upgraded version of its humanoid — a five-foot-nine, 180-pound biped that walks upright, picks things up and will probably elicit some gasps of awe and concern. Most robots are good at repetitive tasks, but fail when something goes awry. Atlas is designed to deal with extenuating circumstances.
You can watch it traipse through the snow, catching its balance on the uneven terrain. Indoors, a handler knocks a box out of its hands; Atlas moves over to retrieve it. When another human shoves it from behind, Atlas pushes itself back up and walks on.
Boston Dynamics, one of the oldest firms among Google’s hodgepodge robotics group, primarily works with the military, although it hasn’t announced any major business deals since joining Google.
In December, after a year of relatively rudderless direction, Google put the entire robotics group inside Google X, its hardware research incubator. The following month X announced it had hired Hans Peter Brondmo, a tech veteran most recently from Nokia, to lead the unit.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.