Atlas Robot can now do parkour

Boston Dynamics Atlas robot

Boston Dynamics Atlas robot

The last time we checked in with the company, its SpotMini robot dog was walking autonomously through a "mock" house, while the humanoid Atlas was seen taking a causal stroll through the woods.

In a new YouTube video from robotics company Boston Dynamics, which Alphabet sold to SoftBank past year, a robot is shown hopping over a log and then up a series of blocks, an activity called parkour.

Which all goes to show there's probably no escape for humanity now. "This absence is perhaps the most significant barrier between the narrowly focused AI applications we have today and the more general AI applications we would like to create in the future".

In order to have it nimbly jump up the 40cm blocks in this video, all its creators had to do was upgrade its software.

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But the improvements made by Boston Dynamics this time is truly incredible. The robot uses energy from its entire body - limbs and torso - to enact its movements and employs "computer vision" to orient itself in space. Nope. Here's Atlas running up to a log and effortlessly leaping over it-before engaging in what Boston Dynamics describes as parkour.

The robot measures 1.5m (4.9ft) tall and weighs 75kg (11.8st). "Atlas keeps its balance when jostled or pushed and can get up if it tips over".

Te machine is being developed so that it can be used in search and rescue operations. So even if the robot apocalypse comes to pass, at least it'll be clean and tidy.

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