There are a lot of videos of scary robots floating around the Internet, but most of those creepy robots are still in the early testing stages. Then, there are the fully functional robots showcased on the Boston Dynamics YouTube channel.
If you haven’t heard of them yet, Boston Dynamics is a robotics company that seems to be inadvertently creating the world's new metallic superspecies. Since the mid-2000s, they have made a name for themselves in the tech community by sharing robot videos of their creations doing all sorts of insane things. They have robots designed after a cheetahs that can run at crazy speeds. They have autonomous pack mules like BigDog that inspire fear with every step. They even have some disturbingly human-like models like Atlas and PETMAN. With each new release, Boston Dynamics raises the bar of what robots can be - and their mind-blowing creations are as scary as they are amazing.
According to Boston Dynamics, PETMAN was initially designed to test chemical protection clothing for the military. It is able to simulate the effects a soldier has on the clothing, including performing complicated body movements that could tear the material. It is capable of moving around autonomously and untethered as well.
The human simulation doesn't stop at movement, however. PETMAN is able to regulate things like temperature, humidity, and even sweat to create the most accurate simulation of a real, living soldier.
Handle is a bipedal robot that is possibly one of the most agile in the entire world. While many robotics experts design their creations to mimic biological anatomy, like that of humans or animals, Boston Dynamics have designed a truly alien body shape for this robot.
Handle stands at about 6.5 feet tall, and can zip around on its two wheels at speeds up to 9 mph. Its two arms are attached at the hip and can lift 100 pounds with ease. Rough terrain is no problem for Handle, as it can navigate some pretty tough ground. It can even jump four feet in the air and land with ease. If that still doesn’t impress you, Handle can also travel up to 15 miles on a single charge.
Boston Dynamics' WildCat is an evolution of their Cheetah design, and it has considerably more freedom. While Cheetah is capable of record-breaking speeds, it's limited to the treadmill. This update takes the Cheetah to the streets, and it's pretty impressive. Although it's a bit heftier, WildCat can run at a top speed of 16 mph. The goal is develop a version that can run up to 50 mph.
BigDog is 240-pound, all-terrain robot that can navigate many difficult wilderness settings with ease. The robot stands at about 2.5 feet tall and can carry loads of up to 340 lbs, making it a perfect pack mule for military missions.
Like most Boston Dynamics robots, BigDog is equipped with all sorts of sensors that allow it to move and balance. It moves at a comparatively sluggish 4 mph, and can be equipped with a robotic arm for heavy lifting.