Boston Dynamics Atlas Humanoid Robot Balances On One Foot, Skips Hokey Pokey

atlas balance
You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in and you shake it all about… The Hokey Pokey may be a song and dance that we all learned in elementary school, but a new Boston Dynamics robot is coming close to replicating some of the movements and balancing techniques that we humans take for granted.

So we present to you the latest version of the Atlas humanoid robot, which stands 6.2-feet tall and weighs 330 pounds — pretty much equivalent to your typical NFL offensive lineman. In a short video clip released over the weekend, Atlas is seen balancing on one foot atop a 2-centimeter-wide strip of plywood. The robot seemingly handles the feat with aplomb, flailing its arms about and pivoting its body to maintain balance — just like a human would.

The delicate balancing act is made possible by Atlas’ 28 hydraulically-operating joints which work in concert to allow the robot to mimic many human movements.

If you follow the short video all the way to its conclusion, you’ll notice that Atlas eventually loses its balance and begins to drunkenly topple off to the side off the platform. Unfortunately for us, we don’t get to see the aftermath, as the video abruptly end.

Over the past year, we’ve seen Boston Dynamics robots perform some rather interesting (for a robot) tasks, including unloading a dishwasher, climbing a flight of stairs and even quickly recover from slipping on a banana peel. A different variant of an Atlas robot (weighing just 180 pounds) took abuse from its “master”, being poked and prodded with sticks. Its master even cowardly pushed Atlas the back, causing it to face plant. However, Atlas shook off the fall and righted itself. 


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