Re: Boston Dynamics'
Early on, Google was funding them, but Google apparently saw a video from nearly 2 years ago and were NOT pleased:
apparently, after a year, they were sold to SoftBank:
Japan doesn't seem to have problems with developing robots. There's a long history of humanoid (and sometimes creepy humanoid) robots and Boston Dynamics seems to be a perfect extension of that.
I don't know why Google didn't keep them. I thought the "poor defenseless robot" video from a couple of years ago (when that guy kept teasing it like a bully might do, moving the box, shoving it on its face, etc.) was pretty good. Apparently Google didn't like it. "We at Google do NOT have a sense of humor" etc. might have been part of THAT conversation... (but I laughed, as I watched 3 stooges a lot when I was a kid, and I _do_ have a sense of humor!).
I think it was less about robots taking over, and more about NOT having a sense of humor about tripping, kicking, or pushing over a robot that's running a program telling it to pick up a box, or watching a robot almost fall on its "shiny metal ass" while walking over rough terrain in snow. [the fact that the bot recovered in an almost human-like way is pretty cool, though!].
[I'm also very glad to see these guys are still around.]