Boston Dynamics never fails to impress with its family of robots that include the Spot Mini "robot dog" and the more humanoid-esque Atlas. When it comes to the latter, we've seen it walking around a lab, picking up items, withstand abuse from its human handlers, jump on boxes, and even perform backflips.
Today, Boston Dynamics has released a new video showing Atlas performing even more amazing physical feats -- which is even more astonishing considering that the robot weighs in at a hefty 330 pounds. Atlas is shown performing handstands, doing forward tumbles, and any number or routines that you might see on the balance beam or the floor exercises during the Summer Olympics.
We should note that while impressive -- for a robot -- Atlas stands no chance at having the skills to take on the world's finest gymnasts. We’ll have to take a few points off for the somewhat off-kilter balance and the shaky landings. But I can't judge too harshly, I can barely perform any of those tricks at half the weight of Atlas.
"We created the maneuvers using new techniques that streamline the development process," added Boston Dynamics. "First, an optimization algorithm transforms high-level descriptions of each maneuver into dynamically-feasible reference motions. Then Atlas tracks the motions using a model predictive controller that smoothly blends from one maneuver to the next."
When we last caught up with the folks from Boston Dynamics, a wild pack of Spot Mini robots went rogue and "stole" a box truck while climbing up a 1 percent grade.