Looking at the video of this quadruped robot takes one right back to the StarWars films - only this isn't fancy computer graphics animation but the real thing. A big dog-like pack 'animal' that can handle difficult terrains, ice/snow, piles of concrete blocks, and recover from being kicked in the side while carrying its heavy pack. Now imagine these things a few years out providing mobility to the disabled through brain-control interfaces, or amplifying the abilities of a fully-functional human (i.e. Machine Amplified Man), or being the mobile platform for your AI-smart household or yard robot.
And in the larger scheme, keep in mind the number of humans this thing will put out of work. This, like all other technical advances, will come at a social cost to those workers who can't or won't perform higher level tasks in our society.
This critter was developed by Boston Dynamics under a DARPA contract and is just a harbinger of more wondrous things to come in the near future. A good YouTube video is available here. And thanks to correspondent and fellow techie Wayne Watson for bringing this to our attention.