Boston Dynamics’ Humanoid Robot Displays Spectacular Agility

Humanoid Robot

On Tuesday, robotics company Boston Dynamics (BD) unveiled a spectacular video of its research robot, Atlas, in which the almost 5-foot humanoid bot is seen swiftly performing a series of somersaults, twists and even a 360 jump before sticking the landing. According to the video’s description, Boston Dynamics attributes the robot’s dynamically swift flexibility and amazing balance to its 28 hydraulic joints.

The company said it used an “optimization algorithm”, a model widely used in deep structured learning methods that are based on artificial neural networks, and a “model predictive controller” to make the agile movements of the bot’s new routine blend smoothly.

The success rate of the robot’s gymnastic routine – which it should be noted, is more complex and significantly faster than previous routines – is about 80 percent, BD said.

Atlas was first built in 2013. The latest iteration shows how far robotics has come in such a short time with automated machines performing functions in a humanlike manner compare to precariously trying to just walk only a few years ago.

In related news, Boston Dynamics released another video on Tuesday advertising the launch of its robotic dog named “Spot”. The video shows Spot opening doors, navigating challenging terrain, and even helping on construction sites.

BD says that more than three years after its introduction, Spot, which runs at 5.2 feet per second and can operate in temperatures ranging from 4 to 113°F, is now available to “select early customers” for use in construction sites, in gas and power plants, and for public safety.

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