parkour robot
(Boston Dynamics)
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Parkour robot today. Ruler of the world tomorrow?

Boston Dynamics has become synonymous with robotic advancement and videos of its extraordinary creations in action can be both awe-inspiring and unnerving. And the latest footage is no different.

The clip shows Atlas, a humanoid robot, easily jumping through a parkour-style series of obstacles.  Which I’m sure we could all do if we had a long enough run up. Still, it’s pretty impressive.

Despite measuring 1.5m tall and weighing 75kg, the battery-powered robot makes jumping seem effortless. Although it does use hydraulic actuators on 28 separate joints to manoeuvre itself.

Atlas’s control system co-ordinates the joints located in its arms, torso and legs and keeps it balanced.  Its 3D printed hardware saves on weight and space to give it a high strength to weight ratio.

The video below shows this strength in action. The parkour robot has a bash at jumping up on to high platforms and even performing a backflip.

Atlas uses sensors that give it stereo vision and the ability to sense range. This allows it to interact with objects in its environment and traverse rough terrain.

Meanwhile, its control centre’s sense of balance means Atlas can be shoved but stay upright and even get up if it is toppled. And no doubt in the future it’ll be used to relentlessly chase down its human prey.

Atlas the parkour robot is one of many forms of robot created by Boston Dynamics, which began as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with other quadruped robots capable of opening doors.

The robotic firm’s videos have accrued millions of views on its YouTube channel, if you’d like to see more of what the company does, check it out here.

* Prices correct at time of posting.

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