This is amazing (watch the whole thing)!
Meet the latest and greatest military humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics--Atlas (aka PETMAN).
(Boston Dynamics is the same company that makes BigDog, the 4 legged, ground transport robot, that looks like a mule--called the Legged Squad Support System, LS3)
Watch the movement of the Atlas robot--it is JUST like a person: heel to toe walking.
See what happens when you push it--Atlas reacts/recovers like a human would.
The built up version has hands that help it balance and squeeze through tight spaces.
BusinessWeek (March 7-13, 2011) explains that this robot will be used initially for surveillance and emergency rescue missions.
I'm thinking Atlas should be pronounced like "at last" to recognize the amazing leap forward in robotics.
This is great stuff--and it demonstrates our growing understanding of not only computers and robotics, but also of the physical and behavioral sciences.