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

By midian182 · 13 replies
Nov 17, 2017
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  1. 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.”

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,254   +1,934

    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
     
    ghostf1re, mattsie and learninmypc like this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,653   +1,044

    I'm impressed with Boston Dynamics and still disappointed with Alphabet for selling them off.

    Most importantly, will this give Shawn nightmares? ;)
     
    mattsie likes this.
  4. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,530   +380

    Robots are taking over the world.
     
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,818   +1,231

    "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.
     
    learninmypc likes this.
  6. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Addict Posts: 187   +120

    I bet Trump can't do back flips. Robot presidential supremacy confirmed.
     
    Burningfeetman likes this.
  7. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,530   +380

    I hope we (I) never see it.
     
  8. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,272   +624

    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.
     
  9. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,231   +435

    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...
     
  10. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Addict Posts: 158   +106

    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.
     
  11. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Addict Posts: 158   +106

    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.
     
  12. mbalensiefer

    mbalensiefer TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +19

    Why isn't this thing fighting the Tali-frikin-ban?
     
  13. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,275   +242

    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.
     
  14. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Booster Posts: 104   +81

    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.
     

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