Atlas Does Parkour And The Team Explains Why And How
Written by Lucy Black   
Friday, 20 August 2021

Back in August 2021 Boston Dynamics made the best roboto video of the year. The only question that remains is will they make the best commercial robot any time soon?

You have seen Boston Dynamics robots do amazing things and, yes we have another amazing video. But this time we also have a video which explains some of the techniques and motivations.

It's almost better than the showoff video. But first the impressive demonstration of some moves that the majority of humans might have some trouble with.  Let us waste no more time and simply view the video, but watch for the moments when the perfectly choreographed routine wobbles a little:

Although I did say that most humans wouldn't be able to make the moves that Atlas does, I think I also need to say that even though this is described as "parkour" it is really only a level 1. Talented humans do this much, much better than our current robot overlords and and a parkour human would easily escape the clutches of the T-800, I mean Atlas...

Now to the $64,000 question - how autonomous is this performance? Is it just a staged sequence of preprogrammed moves or are the robots responding to the environment? Watch the "behind the scenes" video to see if you can figure out the answer:

So the answer seems to be that they are partly autonomous. How much is still not clear. Even so the video is interesting and it is nice to see the battle scars on the Atlas robots. This is a far cry from the early DARPA challenge days when a robot that fell over was doomed to weeks of repair and most of them were strung up with safely lines to stop them falling over. Let's face it even humans fall over and a robot is likely to do it far more often.

The second big question is when will Boston Dynamics have something that works well enough to be turned into a product?


More Information

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