This human-like robot can now perform parkour

Atlas parkour

The prospect of a humanoid robot that can leap, backflip and bound after you over rugged terrain is unsettling enough, but Atlas's creators at Boston Dynamics keep pushing the bot toward ever more ambitious gymnastic achievements. "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".

It's been a while since we've talked about Boston Dynamics here at HotHardware. This video, simply called "Parkour Atlas", shows the company's Atlas robot perform a fairly basic parkour activity - quickly ascending three large steps - with a level of agility that is life-like.

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"The control software uses the whole body including legs, arms and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace", the company wrote in a caption under the video. Atlas also used computer vision technology to tell exactly where it is in space and plan where to land when it jumps.

With the ability to maintain balance, and with an inability to feel pain, Atlas could become part of the emergency equipment of ships or bases, a machine that can tackle hazards while saving humans from additional risk. Boston Dynamics' robots are moving in the opposite direction, learning new things at a terrifying rate. Atlas weighs 75 kilograms and stands 1.5 meters tall.

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