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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

As the field of robotics continues to advance we’re beginning to witness the first signs of the emergence of robots that, outside of their traditional factory setting, could be truly useful.

 

With their advanced sensors, hiding from robots has never been an option, but running from their often plodding frames has been, until now. ATLAS, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot, can now run after you, and if you’re thinking that running over rough terrain could save you, well, sorry my friend, Atlas mastered the art of walking over rocks last year. And Parkour, I almost forgot to mention that one. Sorry… oh and balancing. Okay, I’m done now.

 

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Three years ago former Google robotics outfit Boston Dynamics demonstrated its Terminator-like humanoid Atlas robot running through a forest tethered to a machine. Now that same hauntingly human robot can now run across and navigate uneven terrain unaided, bounding over the trickiest of obstacles … such as a log.

 

Watch Atlas run

 

The new video shows Atlas running in what can only be described as a showy jog, striding with purpose and hinting that at any stage it might break into a lightning-quick sprint.

The new Atlas is actually smaller and lighter than is forbearer, weighing 80kg and standing tall at 1.75 metres (5 feet 9 inches), and there’s even been a version fitted with wheels allowing it to zip across rooms, jump on to tables and terrify human observers.

 

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Now though the biped robot has seemingly conquered jogging across grass, which means not even park run is safe from the tyranny of robots, and as for what’s next? Well, it’s probably just going to get faster and better at everything, so it’s time to get your running shoes on and start training for the time when the robots take over… faster, faster, faster. Ah, forget it.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank, is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Regularly featured on AP, CNBC, Discovery and RT, his ability to identify and track hundreds of game changing emerging technologies, and explain their impact on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past five years running as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive future. A rare talent Matthew sits on the Technology and Innovation Committee (TIAC) for Centrica, one of Europe’s largest energy companies, and his recent work includes mentoring XPRIZE teams, building the first generation of biocomputers, helping the world’s largest manufacturers companies envision the next five generations of smartphones and devices, and what comes next, and helping companies including Qualcomm envision the next twenty years of semiconductors. Matthew's clients are the who’s who of industry and include Accenture, Bain & Co, BOA, Blackrock, Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, BCG, Bentley, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Du Pont, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, McKinsey, Monsanto, PWC, Qualcomm, Rolls Royce, SAP, Samsung, Schroeder's, Sequoia Capital, Sopra Steria, UBS, the UK's HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.

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