After viral YouTube fame, Boston Dynamics is ready to sell its robots

July 9, 2018

Boston is not home to many entertainment studios, but it can lay claim to one of the most successful makers of YouTube videos: Boston Dynamics, which has racked up more than 225 million views on the site. The company’s biggest hit so far shows a humanoid robot named Atlas, a kind of 21st Century Tin Man, traipsing across a snowy landscape, picking up cardboard boxes, and being knocked down by a human — but determinedly getting back up again.

Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 to build some of the world’s most advanced walking robots, and at that, it has succeeded. But far more people have seen the company’s bots on YouTube — or on the HBO show “Silicon Valley,” where a dog-like robot was hit by a car — than in person. That’s because for all of its history, Boston Dynamics has been a research-and-development shop building tiny quantities of extremely sophisticated robots, mostly as part of Pentagon research projects.

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