IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO talk about Boston Dynamics robots without acknowledging two things: They’re a marvel of modern engineering, and their agility can be incredibly unnerving. A 46-second video of Spot the robot “dog” opening a door has more than 56 million views on YouTube. Atlas, the company’s headless humanoid robot, can go for a jog or do parkour. And just last week, the company released new footage of Spot the robot recharging on its own. (If it sounds like a Black Mirror episode, well, that’s because it sort of is.)
But even as many observers joke about a robot apocalypse—or the perhaps more realistic possibility that robots will simply take humans’ jobs—Boston Dynamics insists these machines still have a long way to go. That’s one of the things Marc Raibert, the founder and chairman of Boston Dynamics, focused on in his conversation with WIRED’s Matt Simon on this week’s Get WIRED podcast.