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Google’s firefighting robot greets the world with a ‘Karate Kid’ spoof

Google sure is trying hard to get us to like robots.


Mike Fenn


Posted on Nov 11, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 5:46 am CDT

Google’s new robot “Ian” is the best around and nothing is ever gonna keep it down.

Boston Dynamics, the Google subsidiary responsible for such scary robots as “Big Dog,” recently revealed the latest addition to its family of technological tottering terrors. The 330-pound Atlas robot, dubbed “Ian,” was designed to replace humans doing dangerous tasks like firefighting.

Ian will eventually shoulder the burdens of this risky, thankless work, but in the meantime, it’s having a little fun.

In a savvy move no doubt intended to disarm fears of a robot uprising, Boston Dynamics announced Ian in a YouTube video that showcases the robot’s acrobatic abilities. Ian performs a scene from The Karate Kid, channeling its inner Ralph Macchio in a demonstration that’s either breathtakingly beautiful or staggeringly terrifying.

Impressed? See for yourself how well it stands up to the original.

H/T | Screengrab via DRCihmcRobotics/YouTube

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*First Published: Nov 11, 2014, 5:22 pm CST