Robot’s gymnastic ability sees it going viral

When the internet first became aware of Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot, Atlas, in 2016, it was treading, rather unsure of itself, through the snow, and literally still learning to stand on its own two feet. But in a new viral video released by the robotics company, it’s clear to see that these initial baby steps were only the beginning.

When we first saw Atlas, the robot was just taking its first steps.

A mere three years later, Atlas has now gone viral with a showcase of its gymnastic prowess. A new 38-second video uploaded by Boston Dynamics shows the robot completing smooth gymnastics manoeuvres with the agility of someone with years of training.

Boston Dynamics ascribes to new techniques that have given the robot the ability to streamline the development process.

“First, an optimisation algorithm transforms high-level descriptions of each manoeuvre into dynamically-feasible reference motions. Then Atlas tracks the motions using a model predictive controller that smoothly blends from one manoeuvre to the next. Using this approach, we developed the routine significantly faster than previous Atlas routines, with a performance success rate of about 80%,” wrote the company in the description of the video.

Boston Dynamics is also the company behind the dog-like robots that had the internet fearing for a robot apocalypse early last year.

The technologies and robots developed by Boston Dynamics can be used in the real world in a number of ways, including in factories and for emergency rescues and assistance on rough terrain which cannot be accessed by humans.

Atlas, which the company calls “the world’s most dynamic humanoid robot”, stands 4 feet and 9 inches (almost 145 cm) tall, and weighs a healthy 176 pounds (almost 80 kg). Check out the video below to see Atlas in action.

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