Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Does Backflips


ATLAS, THE HULKING humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics, now does backflips. I’ll repeat that. It’s a hulking humanoid that does backflips

To be clear: Humanoids aren’t supposed to be able to do this. It's extremely difficult to make a bipedal robot that can move effectively, much less kick off a tumbling routine. The beauty of four-legged robots is that they balance easily, both at rest and as they’re moving, but bipeds like Atlas have to balance a bulky upper body on just two legs. Accordingly, you could argue that roboticists can better spend their time on non-human forms that are easier to master.

But there’s a case to be made for Atlas and the other bipeds like Cassie (which walks more like a bird than a human). We live in a world built for humans, so there may be situations where you want to deploy a robot that works like a human. If you have to explore a contaminated nuclear facility, for instance, you’ll want something that can climb stairs and ladders, and turn valves. So a humanoid may be the way to go.

If anything gets there, it’ll be Atlas. Over the years, it’s grown not only more backflippy but lighter and more dextrous and less prone to fall on its face. Even if it does tumble, it can now get back up on its own. So it’s not hard to see a future when Atlas does indeed tread where fleshy humans dare not. Especially now that Boston Dynamics is part of the Japanese megacorporation SoftBank, which may have some cash to spend.

While Atlas doing backflips is full-tilt insane, humanoids still struggle. Manipulation, for one, poses a big obstacle, because good luck replicating the human hand. And battery life is a nightmare, what with all the balancing. But who knows, maybe one day humanoids will flip into our lives, or at the very least at the Olympics.

[Via Wired]

Related Post

Soft Robot Harvard researchers have created a soft robot inspired by animals like starfish and worms that can twist their way around problems that rigid robo...
Doctor Laces Football Using The “Da Vinci Ro... Dr. James Porter, medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish laces a football using the da Vinci robot to demonstrate how this device gives su...
BUDDY : Your Family’s Companion Robot Today, crowdfunding begins for BUDDY, the world’s first affordable companion robot. BUDDY’S campaign seeks to raise $100,000 and will last 35 days...
These 2 Robot Chefs Will Make You Ramen Koya and Kona, a pair of robotic arms, are the top chefs at Toyako Ramen in China. One is in charge of boiling the noodles, the other is in charge...
This Ultra-Precise Drawing Robot it the Most Mesme... Ever wanted a robot that can draw pictures, forge signatures, and take care of all those handwritten wedding invitations you’ve been meaning to fi...
Robot arm scoops goop spills like magic The Switl robot picker-upper from Japan's Furukawa Kikou can scrape up your yucky mayonnaise-ketchup stains like nobody's business. Got messy k...

One thought on “Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Does Backflips

  • November 23, 2017 at 5:55 am
    Permalink

    Awesome work.Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading.Thanks for the share

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *