Old Bot, New Tricks

The capabilities of this robot are amazing & unnerving in equal measure

Boston Dynamics are at it again. This month the company released yet another unnerving video showcasing the capabilities of Atlas, their humanoid robot. Previous recordings show Atlas picking its way slowly and carefully through difficult terrain. However, Boston Dynamics’ latest model is quite different. Instead of stumbling precariously, the robot hops from one block to another, completing a seemingly impossible backflip at the end of the sequence. It even raises its arms like a human gymnast.

By making Atlas lighter and more agile, Boston Dynamics can closely mimic human actions. This literal leap forward in mobility has implications for any sector that uses robots, expanding the range of what they can do and how well they do it. The worrying part, though, is that most humans can’t perform backflips. Robot development isn’t just meeting human standards – it’s exceeding them