Like just about everyone—engineer and non-engineer—on the planet, I’ve been captivated by the evolution of Spot the robot dog and Atlas the humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics. I gasped in awe when I saw the Do You Love Me? Video at the tail-end of 2020.

I also grimaced a bit while watching this video, if the truth be told, because it’s a tad embarrassing to see a robot that can dance better than me, especially since my dad was a professional dancer on the variety hall stage prior to WWII.

So, you can only imagine how sad I was to hear that the existing hydraulic-based version of Atlas is being retired. I’m not ashamed to say that watching this Farewell to HD Atlas video brought a little tear to my eye.

But let’s all turn those frowns upside down into smiles because this is not the end. I’m reminded of one of Winston Churchill’s famous speeches when he said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

This speech was made a little over three years into WWII after the Allies had achieved their first major victory, but it’s surprisingly relevant to the topic at hand.

The reason for my waffling is that my chum Jay Dowling just shared a link to an interesting article on the TechCrunch website. I love a good play on words, so the fact that the title of this column started with the words “Atlas Shrugged” brought a wry grin to my face. This is because Atlas Shrugged is the title of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, which was published in 1957 (the same year that I decided to grace this planet with my presence). Ayn described the theme of Atlas Shrugged as “the role of man’s mind in existence,” which is an interesting concept in today’s world of humanoid robots and artificial intelligence.

The TechCrunch article included a link to their own video about the introduction of the new, all-electric Atlas from Boston Dynamics.

The key takeaway from this very interesting video is that humanoid robots are one step closer to leaving the laboratory and strolling into our factories, offices, businesses, workplaces, care facilities, and… ultimately, homes. I’d better tell my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) to get our spare bedroom prepared for a robot visitor.

What say you? Are you ready for a revolution in robotic technology (as opposed to a robotic revolution, of course)?