Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot, like gymnast, can now do backflips

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-18 05:55:26|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Boston Dynamics' Atlas humanoid robot can open doors, pick up boxes, stand up after being pushed over and even move through snowy terrain. But now, it has learned a new skill: doing backflips like a gymnast.

The 1.7-meter-tall robot demonstrated its newly developed ability of jumping between boxes, performing a 180-degree turn and then doing a backflip that ends with a firm landing on a padded platform, according to a new video released this week.

More impressively, after completing a perfect backflip, Atlas raises its arms seeming to celebrate the feat.

Boston Dynamics, which was sold this year to Japan's SoftBank from Google's parent company Alphabet, explained on its website how Atlas works.

"Atlas' control system coordinates motions of the arms, torso and legs to achieve whole-body mobile manipulation, greatly expanding its reach and workspace," the company wrote.

"Atlas' ability to balance while performing tasks allows it to work in a large volume while occupying only a small footprint."

Atlas can sometimes make mistakes, too. It fails its balance during a backflip attempt at the end of the video, falling and hitting a box it has jumped from.

The 54-second video, titled "What's New, Atlas?", was being virally circulated online.

"Will Atlas appear in the next olympics?" asked a YouTube account called Downyfabricsoftener, while another user called Pasha Kouznetsov commented: "Now I want Robo-Olympics: the only way to see 100% steroids/anabolics-free competition."

Some expressed concerns, too. "This is amazing and scary at the same time, we become sci-fi movie too fast," one user known as Przemek Szymanek wrote.