Boston Dynamics never ceases to amaze and freak us, all at the same time.
On Tuesday, Boston Dynamics released a new video featuring his humanoid robot, called Atlas, going beast mode on a parkour gym.
In the video, two-legged Atlas is seen bouncing up an uneven platform, shifting its weight from its right foot to its left foot, and finishing up with a spectacular backflip. Like Atlas’ previous athletic prowess, this act is simply spellbinding. Though at one instance, it vaults over a board using one of its arms to steady itself.
Humanoid robots can do various acts. From going for a cool jog in the garden and busting some impressive dance moves to backflips and running through snow without falling on its face. However, doing parkour bits beats all.
The whole act seemed perfectly choreographed, maybe not exactly what the forefathers of parkour intended. It is more of a “free” run but within the limitations of computer code.
In a separate video, the company released a BTS showing the development of the 190-pound robot, the “culmination of over a decade of hydraulic humanoid robotics work,” according to team lead Scott Kuindersma.
Atlas’ parkour moves were not something done spontaneously; the robot was consciously pre-programmed. However, humans also often plan out parkour routines.
“It’s not the robot just magically deciding to do parkour, it’s kind of a choreographed routine, much like a skateboard video or a parkour video,” Benjamin Stephens, controller for Atlas, explained in the video.
“It’s astonishing that Kuindersma believes that nearly after two decades, human lives will be filled with robots that can move with grace, reliability, and work alongside humans to enrich our lives,” Benjamin said.
“But we’re still in the early days of creating that future,” he added. “I hope that demonstrations like this provide a small glimpse of what’s possible.”