Elon Musk: Backflipping Robots Will Soon Move Faster Than We Can See

Monday, 27 November 2017 - 11:00AM
Robotics
Monday, 27 November 2017 - 11:00AM
Elon Musk: Backflipping Robots Will Soon Move Faster Than We Can See
Image credit: YouTube
When Boston Dynamics released video of its revolutionary backflipping robot, Atlas, most of us were amazed at how far robots have come. But not Elon Musk. And with good reason.

For Musk, an advanced robot doing advanced robot stuff is just another sign that humanity is one step closer to bringing about its own extinction.

Boston Dynamics recently shared footage of the humanoid robot Atlas performing its latest gymnastics routine, which involves jumping on and off of boxes of varying heights unassisted (without a tether), jumping and changing directions mid-air before landing, and then performing a perfect backflip and sticking the landing. 



If this clip was of a 6-year-old child it would be cute, but Atlas stands nearly five feet tall and weighs 165lbs so it's actually kind of scary. 

Elon Musk saw the video and retweeted it from designer and producer Alex Medina.

Responding to Medina's "We dead." tweet, Musk wrote "This is nothing. In a few years, that bot will move so fast you'll need a strobe light to see it. Sweet dreams…"

Musk has been one of the loudest voices in the "AI will kill us all if we're not careful" camp, so it's easy to hear such a comment as reactionary hype. 

He once said that "until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don't know how to react," which is both an extreme vision for the future and one that we should probably not ignore completely. 

Then again, Boston Dynamics developed a robot that can run 28MPH more than five years ago—that's even faster than World's Fastest Man Usain Bolt. So he just might be onto something.

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Elon Musk: Backflipping Robots Will Soon Move Faster Than We Can See
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