No big deal, Boston Dynamics’ Atlas can perform backflips now

Thursday, 23 November 2017, 04:53:43 AM. Hold my grease

It’s been a while since we’ve seen any updates to the Atlas robot after Alphabet sold Boston Dynamics to SoftBank in June. After unveiling a teaser of its SpotMini robot just a few days ago, the company is now back with a new video of Atlas just casually performing gymnastics moves like it’s Tokyo 2020. Most of the video highlights the Atlas’ ability to hop up straight and stabilize itself on a platform, and jump while turning 180 degrees. Its movements are more fluid than ever, and Atlas appears to maintain great form.

Nothing to gawk at; my eight-year-old can do that, you say? Hold my grease. The most impressive portion of the demonstration is its last move. Atlas is seen turning around and backflipping off a block, all while masterfully sticking its landing. It even does a little arm raise to simultaneously gain balance and celebrate its success.

Of course, Atlas isn’t perfect, and Boston Dynamics knows the audience loves it when robots fail. Stick around to the end to see Atlas resembling humans more than ever when it fails to stick the landing after one of its many backflip attempts. Don’t worry, Atlas, at least you managed to actually land on your feet, whereas I would most definitely have landed straight on my chin.

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