Footage of an engineer pushing and torturing a humanoid robot for science has caught the attention of the internet, with many questioning whether this might just be the beginning of a robot uprising.

In the video, released by Google-owned Boston Dynamics, 'Atlas' a 5"9 (1.75m) robot, can be seen picking up a box when an engineer knocks it out of its grip, pushing the robot back with an hockey stick.

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The robot stumbles, regains its balance and again goes to pick up the box. It later proceeds to leave the building.

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Many Twitter users have a 'rise of the machines' take on the images, speculating this could mark the start of a future battle between man and machine.

'Atlas' -- which weighs 81kg, the equivalent of an adult male -- has LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess terrain and help with the navigation and manipulation of objects.

Boston Dynamics' latest robot is a development from its previous model, designed to operate outdoors, inside buildings and even in snow.

The Independent reported that the robot could potentially make its way in to military applications, eventually replacing human soldiers.