The domestic robot takes shape.

Elon Musk recently hit the headlines with the introduction of Tesla Bot project. All the while, however, Boston Dynamics has been developing its own robot technology apace. Its contender, still a research project rather than a commercial one, is called Atlas. It seems strange that Atlas is being trained in the activity of parkour. When Atlas turns commercial in the fullness of time, it is hard to believe that parkour skills will be of much use. But the point is that, if Atlas can do parkour, then it will be able to do anything else fairly easily. First, train your robot to do one of the most difficult physical routines. Then it will find walking around doing odd jobs straightforward by comparison. Of course, there is more to it than that. Take hand and finger dexterity; or visual capability. The domestic robot of the future is coming into sight. All we need is a parallel effort to instantiate consciousness in your robot and, lo and behold, the sentient robot. Watch this space.

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