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Thankfully, the video is not real.
The footage first began to circulate on social media Friday and was viewed more than 15 million times in one tweet alone.
The clip starts with “Atlas,” one of Boston Dynamics bipedal humanoid robots, being run through a series of tests while its creators attempt to knock it off balance.
The robot is attacked with increasingly absurd items, from hockey sticks and rubber balls to a glass bottle and a steel chair.
Fed up with its treatment, Atlas eventually fights back, beating up the two humans before holding them at gunpoint.
Many people online initially believed the video was real, expressing horror at both the treatment of the robot and its ability to attack people.
The amount of people who think this is real just goes to show how good @CorridorDigital is.— TravyTrav ʕง•ᴥ•ʔง (@TravyTravVA) June 15, 2019
Agreed I fell for it, till he kicked him in the nuts haha.— Austin Freeman (@GameoverFumbles) June 15, 2019
It had me until the point blank shooting, that’s when I started to question it. Very well done, though.— Stephen Cole (@mrstephencole) June 15, 2019
People may have been fooled because the video mimics actual Boston Dynamics tests.
In 2016, the engineering company released a video showing its employees shoving a robot with a hockey stick to display its balance and recovery abilities.
So if the video isn’t real, where did it come from?
The impressive clip was produced by Corridor Digital, a group that has racked up more than 6 million YouTube subscribers thanks to their special effects skills.
Another video released by the team shows exactly how the robot was faked: a mix of motion capture and computer-generated imagery.
Everyone should be able to sleep better knowing that robots haven’t risen up to destroy humanity and take over the world. Yet.
- That viral clip of a theme park ride isn’t real
- Jon Snow apologizes for the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ in this deepfake
- Fake avalanche video sends Twitter into frenzy
- Watch this Boston Dynamics robot dance its butt off to ‘Uptown Funk’
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Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.