Robot Runs And Jumps Just Like A Human

Gladys Abbott
May 12, 2018

We've seen Boston Dynamics' humanoid Atlas robot going for a stroll, being pushed around, and even doing backflips.

Run, Atlas, run: Boston Dynamics has received plenty of attention for videos of eerily lifelike legged robots in action. A new video shows its Atlas robot performing several tests.

The scene is nearly peaceful and idyllic, except for the pervasive whirring and clanking of Atlas' motors, gears and joints, and the sense of growing unease that comes with witnessing the inexorable approach of our future robot overlords.

Boston Dynamics was bought from Google's parent company, Alphabet, by Japanese firm SoftBank in August past year, but it looks as though developments are surging ahead.

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Good boy? We certainly hope so. As explained on the company's website, "Atlas' control system coordinates motions of the arms, torso and legs to achieve whole-body mobile manipulation, greatly expanding its reach and workspace".

In the second clip, Boston Dynamics showed off the dog-like SpotMini robot climb up and down stairs.

"During the autonomous run, SpotMini uses data from the cameras to localize itself in the map and to detect and avoid obstacles", Boston Dynamics said in notes accompanying the video. Once the operator presses "go", the robot takes off unassisted. Total walk time for this route is just over 6 minutes.

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