New A.I. Atlas humanoid robot running and jumping over obstacles

October 11, 2018

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If you thought you'd be able to run away from the terrifying new breed of robots, bad news.


Boston Dynamics has revealed a video of its terrifying Atlas robot running and jumping over obstacles with ease.


'Atlas does parkour,' the firm says in the description for the video, which shows the robot leaping up a series of 40cm steps with ease, and over logs with a single bound.



It says the robot's software has been updated giving it the new features.


'The control software uses the whole body including legs, arms and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace.


'Atlas uses computer vision to locate itself with respect to visible markers on the approach to hit the terrain accurately. '  


Earlier this year Boston Dynamics posted two videos showing off the new skills of two of its advanced automatons.



Atlas the most human-like robot in Boston Dynamic's line-up. 


It was first unveiled to the public on 11 July 11 2013.


According to the company, Atlas is a 'high mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain'.


Atlas measures 1.5m (4.9ft) tall and weighs 75kg (11.8st).


The humanoid walks on two legs, leaving its arms free to lift, carry, and manipulate objects in its environment.



Atlas is able to hold its balance when it is jostled or pushed by an external force. Should it fall over, the humanoid robot is capable of getting up again on its own.


Stereo vision, range sensing and other sensors allow Atlas to walk across rough terrain and keep its balance.


'In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces,' Boston Dynamics claims.


Atlas is able to hold its balance when it is jostled or pushed.


If the humanoid robot should fall over, it can get up on its own.


Atlas is designed to help emergency services in search and rescue operations.


The robot will be used to shut-off valves, opening doors and operate powered equipment in environments where human rescuers could not survive.


The US Department of Defence said it has no interest in using Atlas in warfare.

Atlas is capable of —  


  • Standing up after falling over

  • Running

  • Balancing on a narrow beam

  • Cleaning, including vacuuming and sweeping

  • Karate kick

  • Throwing a paper aeroplane











In one, Atlas, a humanoid robot, can be seen jogging around a grassy field, before leaping over a log that's obstructing its path.


In the second, a SpotMini robo-dog navigates its way around an office building, climbing and descending a set of stairs with ease, all under its own direction.


The canine automatons look eerily similar to those featured in an episode of the sci-fi series, where mechanised creatures hunt humans in a post-apocalyptic future.


Boston Dynamics, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, manually steered SpotMini around its test course to prepare for the demonstration.


Incredible footage has revealed the terrifying capabilities of Black Mirror-style robots, branded 'future death machines' by some. This image shows the SpotMini robo-dog using its cameras to avoid obstacles


Boston Dynamics posted two videos showing off the new skills of two of its advanced automatons, including SpotMini


This let it create a map of the office space using its on-board cameras.


Once it has achieved this goal, it can use this new found knowledge to autonomously navigate its way around, which is what we see in the footage.


It shows SpotMini using its cameras to work out where it is in the office, by comparing what it sees to the data in its stored map.


It then begins to explore the the space, using those same cameras to avoid any obstacles.

The machine effortlessly finds its way through narrow corridors, open spaces both inside and outside the workplace, and even up and down a staircase.   


In a written statement, a spokesman for the firm said: 'SpotMini autonomously navigates a specified route through an office and lab facility. 


'Before the test, the robot is manually driven through the space so it can build a map of the space using visual data from cameras mounted on the front, back and sides of the robot. 


'During the autonomous run, SpotMini uses data from the cameras to localize itself in the map and to detect and avoid obstacles. 


Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot navigates its way round set route


'Once the operator presses "GO" at the beginning of the video, the robot is on its own. Total walk time for this route is just over six minutes.'


In the second video, refinements to the Atlas' robot are on show, displaying how naturally the humanoid machine is able to move around.


The battery powered can be seen tackling a flat grassy area, gentle slopes, and other outdoor terrain.

It's log leap is not surprising from a bot that we have previously seen performing backflips, but its movements seem less stiff than in previous clips.


'In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces,' says Boston Dynamics. This image shows it landing


Some on social media have reacted strongly to the videos, expressing concerns over the potential risks of these kinds of robots.


Writing on Twitter Roobstickles said: 'How does the Boston Dynamics robot respond if it leaks oil on my carpet and I proceed to grab it by its neck, shove its nose in the oil stain, and tell it what a bad death machine it is?'


Sam Berrington joked: 'Boston Dynamics’ robots are learning how to run outside and navigate autonomously.


'For added fun, sing "It's the end of the world as we know it" by REM whilst watching.'

But many seem unconcerned over the creations. 


Barb Sabran, who lives in Massechusets, Boston Dynamics home county, added: 'Run Forrest, I mean Atlas, run!' 




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