WATCH: Backflipping Robots Show Off Parkour Skills In New Boston Dynamics Video

Boston Dynamics Robot

Boston Dynamics

American engineering and robot design company Boston Dynamics continuously puts out videos that are equal parts impressive and terrifying. The company’s human-like robots, Atlas, are incredibly life-like in their movements. It is undeniably awe-inspiring, but also bring fears for an eventual robot takeover.

In a new video released on Tuesday, Atlas shows off a new skill— parkour. Atlas can be seen leaping over obstacles, navigating stairs and walking a balance beam. They even capped it off by landing a backflip. It looks like an extremely calculated and deliberate, legit human.

Taking big steps forward.

Here is what Boston Dynamics had to say:

“Parkour is the perfect sandbox for the Atlas team to experiment with new behaviors. In this video our humanoid robots demonstrate their whole-body athletics. It maintains its balance through a variety of rapidly changing, high-energy activities. Through jumps, balance beams, and vaults, we demonstrate how we push Atlas to its limits to discover the next generation of mobility, perception, and athletic intelligence.”

There are two really big and exciting advancements in the video. The first comes when Atlas vaults over the bar at the 36-second mark.

While Atlas isn’t necessarily supporting its entire weight with one arm, it is doing some serious upper body work. Most of what Atlas has done to date has been lower body focused. It is doing some fairly complex balancing and weight management by vaulting over the bar.

Aaron Saunders, Boston Dynamics’ VP of Engineering, suggested that Atlas is working more on using the upper-body earlier this year. This is a big step forward.

Secondly, Atlas is leveraging perception. In this iteration of parkour, the robot is making lots of critical adjustments to maintain balance and posture by sensing and reacting to its environment. That’s a huge deal.

As Boston Dynamics continues to expand Atlas’ abilities, the videos are only going to get crazier and crazier. This is just the beginning.

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