From barely walking to gymnastics routines: 10 years of Boston Dynamics robots’ terrifying progress is an eye-opening look at a robot-dominated future

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Boston Dynamics/YouTube
  • Robotics have come a long way in just 10 years.
  • In 2009, robots developed by Boston Dynamics were barely able to walk. In 2019, they were doing gymnastics.
  • The progress is astounding. But it also raises the question as to how far we should go in developing robots to become as human-like as possible.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Take a look at this thing from robotics company Boston Dynamics. It can barely walk straight, it’s slow, and it needs a wiring harness:

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Boston Dynamics

It’s so uncoordinated, there’s no way robots are going to take our jobs, let alone pose any threat, right?

That was 11 years ago. See what Boston Dynamics’ robot looks like now and what it can do:


Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is the evolution of the company’s Petman robot above.

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Boston Dynamics/YouTube

Atlas was designed to illustrate how robots can achieve human-like mobility, and it’s terrifyingly close.

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Boston Dynamics/YouTube

This is what a decade of progress looks like.


In 2019, the parody group Corridor made a video that shows a fake “Bosstown Dynamics” robot fighting back against abusive human testers. While I feel bad for the robot, the video shows how thin the line between parody and reality might become.

The robot eventually starts to retaliate, and even holds its human testers hostage. The parody serves as an argument against giving robots too much mobility – or too much intelligence.