Boston Dynamics has covertly dropped a brand new video, this time unveiling the Atlas robot’s newly found ability to clear hurdles and hop like a parkour pro. The combination of actual computer vision together with a control program, that regulates legs, arms as well as torso, promises Atlas as the most physically extraordinary robots ever designed.
It is marvelous to think about it was merely 5 years ago that we were shown the first finished version of the Atlas robot. In those days we were impressed by the sight of a human-like robot that could by itself move around, despite still tethered to another source of power.
In 2015 the tether was eliminated and it was allowed to roam on its own. After that, the robot’s development has been truly astonishing, with Boston Dynamics routinely displaying videos as a brand new skill was obtained. First, Atlas perfected the art of balancing, and towards the end of 2017 we were entertained to some amazing, and scary, video footage of the robot mastering how to complete a backflip.
The substantial 2018 enhancements for Atlas appear to have been mostly focused on the robot discovering how to get around the complicated landscape in real-time. Previously this year we found a video displaying the robot jogging through the forest, easily going across the bumpy outdoor scenery. And today, we see Atlas easily jumping up steps and bouncing over logs.
Where all this might lead is still unspecified at this point. In spite of Boston Dynamics being marketed by Google’s parent firm Alphabet to Japanese organization SoftBank for a confidential amount in 2017, there was no sign as to what course the robot’s growth is going. No commercial or even private result has ever been mentioned, so at this time it appears the technical engineers are still simply focusing on making the most mobile human-like robot they can. At the rate they are moving ahead, it’s hard to think about what this robot will manage to in another 5 years time.