Sports

This Acrobatic Performance Shows How Far Robotics Have Come In Just A Matter Of Years

by Penn Collins

November 17, 2017

As we’ve been warned time and again, we should be careful what we wish for when it comes to robotics and artificial intelligence. No doubt the engineers at Boston Dynamics have been working hard at creating as advanced a robot as possible, but how advanced is too advanced? 

This amazing video of the ATLAS humanoid robot may help put that question in context. Not only does the creation jump atop plyometric boxes with ease, it then punctuates its demonstration with a backflip dismount that could have many wondering if we’re taking ATLAS’s advancement a little too far, too quick. 

Rather than remind yourself of the pitfalls that result from the intersection of technology and hubris, perhaps you’d prefer to just watch this feat of innovation perform its routine with mashed-up commentary from Olympic gymnastics announcers. Thanks to the work of GOOD’s very own head of video, Gabe Reilich, that far more specific dream is also now a reality. 

Here it is: 

Even the stubborn Russian judges will have to give credit where it’s due after witnessing that routine. 

If you remain worried about this robotic parkour machine one day invading your home, know that the ability to land backflips doesn’t necessarily mean that robots can perform more mundane tasks. Should you wish to evade such a humanoid, you can still safely do so by simply closing a door or just placing a curtain near the edge of a cliff. 

Share image via Boston Dynamics/YouTube.

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