Boston Dynamics robots rated by Robopocalypse threat level

If there's ever a robot uprising, Boston Dynamics' Atlas and SpotMini will probably lead the revolution.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Don't try to run. Boston Dynamics' WildCat robot is probably faster than you.

Boston Dynamics

I'm worried about a few things, like climate change, black widow spiders and whether that spot on my bagel is mold. Oh yes, and the future robot uprising

I've seen enough sci-fi to know we're just one accidental sentience experience away from obsolescence. That's why I'm eyeing Boston Dynamics, purveyor of some of the most compelling and slightly creepy real-life robots ever created. I feel compelled to study the company's lineup and rate each bot based on its Robopocalypse threat level. 

My Robopocalypse Rating system, going from 1 (least threat) to 10 (it's gonna get you), is rigorously unscientific. I went on feeling, backed up by a few facts. For example, the small, jumping SandFlea robot rates a mere 2 on the scale because it's out of production. 

Boston Dynamics loves to drop videos on us showing how Atlas the humanoid robot can run around outside and how SpotMini can open doors. These tales of robotic triumph make me look twice at my own brand of human incompetence. I'm the person standing there pushing on the pull-to-open door. 

I'm feeling a little extra pressure after hearing the news the SpotMini robot will go on sale in 2019. This will increase my chances of meeting one in the wild some day soon.

We may be decades or even centuries away from a Westworld-style robot uprising, but I'm still getting prepared. And it all starts with evaluating Boston Dynamics bots. I'm keeping my eye on you, Atlas. Check out my ratings:

Meet Boston Dynamics' weird and wonderful robot family

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