If a Bipedal Humanoid Robot Falls in a Forest ...
... does it get back up and keep chasing you?
Atlas simulation. Image: Boston Dynamics
The Agile Anthropomorphic Robot "Atlas" has been invading the popular imaginations and-or fueling techno-paranoia for several years now, but programming-wise it's remained a work in progress. Atlas has finally escaped the lab, albeit with a fairly burly-seeming power cord tether, and is learning to manage the unpredictability of natural settings.
In this video snippet presented by Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert at the Fab11 conference last week in Boston, it appears Atlas still isn't quite "owning it," so to speak, but manages nonetheless to get around with the bare minimum of grace. Much like a zombie, you could probably get away from it, but that hardly means you've really escaped.
Raibert's full presentation can be viewed here.