VIDEO: Boston Dynamics’ Backflipping Robot Is an Astounding Advance
What a difference two years make. If you followed the DARPA Challenge back in 2015, you’ll know that humanoid robots have a track record of falling over—a lot. Fast forward to today, however, and the notorious robot maker Boston Dynamics has gotten its two-legged Atlas humanoid to do backflips. Just watch it. It’s literally, for me at least, jaw-dropping.
Um, nope. Anyone who’s tried to do a backflip will know that it’s not easy, especially the landing. It requires dexterity, poise, and balance—all things that have typically been lacking in humanoid robots. But Boston Dynamics has shown that, while it might not be easy and certainly seemed a distant hope two years ago, it’s now perfectly possible for a robot to display such skills.
That has profound implications for what robots might be able to do in the future, and it makes the prospect of, say, reliable rescue robots a very real possibility. It also means that you can scratch that Guardian quote: if Terminator does show up, he’ll school you at parkour.