Watch: Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot is now so agile it can do backflips

midian182

Posts: 7,423   +65
Staff member

Boston Dynamics' robots often cause those concerned about a Terminator-style future to sweat slightly. But despite several new iterations of its Atlas robot over the years, the machine still stumbled around like it had knocked back one too many vodka shots. Now, however, it’s doing parkour and backflips.

In the latest video from the company, we see Atlas jumping and spinning its way across some blocks before performing a move most humans struggle with: a backflip. The agile machine mustn’t have landed it the first time, though; the outtake at the end shows Atlas tumbling headfirst into a box after hitting the ground.

What’s also impressive is that Atlas no longer rolls around like a turtle on its back when it falls over. The 6-foot 9-inch, 167-pound humanoid robot can now get up off the floor if it tips over.

Boston Dynamics said this new version of Atlas, which is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated, is designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings, meaning it could be utilized in scenarios that are dangerous for humans.

Following year-long rumors that Google parent Alphabet was looking to sell the company, Japanese telecoms giant Softbank, which also bought ARM in 2016 and owns a large stake in Nvidia, acquired the robotics firm for an undisclosed sum back in June.

The new Atlas robot isn’t the only Boston Dynamics robot to get an upgrade. The company revealed a new version of the SpotMini a few days ago.

Earlier this year, we got a look at Handle, a robot so freaky that Boston Dynamics itself described it as “nightmare inducing.”

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,470   +7,296
Man, that is nothing less than impressive .... just as an acid test, I wonder if they have tried making it walk a tight rope? I would imagine it would be possible .... and if it works it could easily replace every politician in America, plus armed with a laser it would certainly keep away or at least get rid of some of those fake news creators .... LOL
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,694   +2,382
I'm impressed with Boston Dynamics and still disappointed with Alphabet for selling them off.

Most importantly, will this give Shawn nightmares? ;)
 

psycros

Posts: 3,807   +4,934
"Boston Dynamics said this new version of Atlas, which is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated, is designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings, meaning it could be utilized in scenarios that are dangerous for humans."

These dangerous scenarios include any job that you have to pay people to do.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,945   +2,327
Shoot, that robot can do more than I can, and it probably weighs 3 times as much!
Resistance is futile....just keep them off the internet, so they won't become self aware.
 

IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
Awesome and scary at the same time... But can it land a perfect 10 back flip every time? How long until we have the robot Olympics?

That fall at the end was hilarious though...
 

JamesSWD

Posts: 331   +184
Shoot, that robot can do more than I can, and it probably weighs 3 times as much!
Resistance is futile....just keep them off the internet, so they won't become self aware.
I hate to ruin your day, but the article says Atlas is: "The 6-foot 9-inch, 167-pound humanoid robot can now get up off the floor if it tips over." -- So it's actually taller AND lighter than us. We're lucky to get up off the ground if we fall down. I'll be over in the corner feeling pathetic...bring a bottle of whisky with you and we'll try to feel better together.
 

JamesSWD

Posts: 331   +184
I'm always impressed with the sorcery Boston Dynamics comes up with. One thing about Atlas doing the backflip that I noticed at 30 seconds...the platform seems shaky & unstable as it lands after the backflip...and it still maintained balance (except for the bloopers).

Give them another few years and what they're building will impress...and scare the hell out of us...even more.
 

misor

Posts: 1,419   +320
The real question is: can the robot play crisis? ;)
seriously, I have never heard of a robot playing a cyber game. chess AIs had done it in the past.
 

NicktheWVAHick

Posts: 342   +550
I don’t know why, but that video is extremely disturbing to me. Next you’ll be telling me that my assembly-line job at Ford is being replaced by a robot.