Atlas retakes the robo-spotlight with some new parkour moves

Boston Dynamics may have Spot take center stage, but its Atlas robot still tries to keep the spotlight shining on it with a new video update. This time, new parkour moves take viewers once again into the uncanny movement valley.

In the last few days, Boston Dynamics uploaded a video that showed the “official trailer” for Spot (Mini), the company’s versatile robo-dog that is slated to be introduced for various industrial applications. Just very shortly after that video, another video was uploaded to the channel, this time featuring the signature humanoid robot Atlas.

Atlas has been known for quite some time for its equally dynamic movements that almost mimic human locomotion. Like many other robots designed by Boston Dynamics, they are made to self-correct themselves whenever they are moved beyond or out of their intended course or path. The adjustments are often so fluid that the tiny motions almost seem uncanny.

This time, Atlas shows off even more parkour moves, not letting itself be beaten by the internet’s beloved robo-dog. Now with the grace of a ballerina, it rolls, jumps, and leaps, as dynamically as it has always been. It even asserts its own dominance at the end with a rightful T-pose ends its gymnastic performance with a set of familiar motions, to show off to its usual mesmerized viewers on YouTube.

Boston Dynamics describes the motion routines as having success rates of about 80 percent, so there might have been a few less-than-perfect outtakes before this one was uploaded. Indeed, in the last video that Atlas showcased, it included a few “blooper reels”, to show some of the failed attempts by the robot. Oddly enough, even the failures seem very human, with the correct body readjustments made shortly after in order for it to simply try once more.

Take that doomed humans UpTown robo-dog.

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