Boston Dynamics has once against demonstrated the extraordinary capabilities of its current generation robot ‘Atlas.’
Demonstrated in a video, Atlas is now capable of doing a plethora of new parkour and gymnastics moves, including a handstand, forward roll, dive roll, and even a splits leap. However, the final move in the 20-second routine might be the most impressive — a jumping 360-degree spin.
Throughout the entire routine, Atlas was able to maintain its balance, generate and adjust for its changing momentum, and generate enough force to fling itself into the air with relative ease. Most humans would struggle with these movements, so seeing a robot doing it with ease is certainly an impressive sight.
In a previous video published almost a year earlier, Boston Dynamics demonstrated that their Atlas robot was capable of more than clunkily stomping around like the robots of old. Showing the robot is capable of some impressive maneuvers like climbing staggered steps, jumping over obstacles, and even successfully landing a front flip.
However, although Atlas’ skills are certainly impressive, they are not without limitations. The routine was meticulously crafted by the Boston Dynamics team, with the entire routine being a pre-programmed sequence of actions. Because of this, the robot is unable to deal with unexpected interactions during the routine, the slightest of which could cause it to stumble.
It would be interesting to see how Boston Dynamics’ new robot would fare at handling the tasks required in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Previously, teams around the world struggled to complete the obstacle course, which involved opening doors, climbing stairs, cutting a hole in a wall, and turning a valve, among other tasks. Few of the robots displayed any sort of grace while completing the tasks, with most falling down, malfunctioning or otherwise failing.
What do you think about the progress Boston Dynamics has made with its Atlas robot? Are there any other bipedal robots out there that can compete in terms of agility? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Images courtesy of YouTube, Shutterstock.