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Boston Dynamics’ humanoid Atlas bot is now more nimble than you’ll ever be

Published Nov 17th, 2017 12:26PM EST
boston dynamics atlas

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Okay, enough is enough. Boston Dynamics has been showing off its robots for years and years now, and they’ve always been pretty cool, but they’re also awkward, clumsy mechanical beasts… or at least they used to be. The Atlas bot, which we’ve seen fall flat on its face on numerous occasions, never seemed like much of a threat, but a new video released by the company changes things in a big way. In short, this robot is now a more capable biped than you’ll ever be.

The video, which has gained millions of views since its debut less than a day ago, showcases Atlas’s new moves, including its ability to complete a standing jump up to a height of several feet, twist in the air, and even perform a completely perfect backflip. Humanity is doomed.

The Atlas bot has been in development for a long, long time, and we’ve seen it do everything from carry boxes to traverse rough terrain, but we’ve never seen it look as impressive as this. With Boston Dynamics having just been sold to SoftBank by its former owner, Alphabet, it’s interesting to see a huge leap (no pun intended) in its capabilities in such a short period of time.

The company has never made it very clear what the end goal for Atlas is, though it already has a wide range of talents that could conceivably make it a stand-in for human workers in a variety of industries. It has potential as everything from a package handler to a disaster response robot, and it’s just a matter of Boston Dynamics reaching a point in its development where it could be sold to buyers.