I thought that maybe DARPA would hold off on making killer robots for a while, but the defense contractor is back at it again what it calls "one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built."
The humanoid robot in question is named ATLAS. It's 6'2" and weighs 330 lbs. It can walk up steps, adjust itself after putting one foot at a higher elevation than the other, and retain its balance after being hit by a 20 lb. wrecking ball. In short, it's nigh invincible.
ATLAS will get a chance to strut its stuff later this year at the DARPA Robotics Challenge in December 2013. The challenge is officially dedicated to finding robots that can help humans in disaster response, but the secret robot overlords may be using the challenge as a scouting event of sorts. It's never too early to start planning the robot apocalypse and ATLAS seems pretty well suited to the job of making it over the obstacles surviving humans would place before him.
If you want to see more terrifying DARPA robots, check out this ATLAS prototype that can navigate obstacles. If you're feeling especially brave, you should also check out these eight robot masters that would make Dr. Wily proud.[h/t: Gizmodo]