The folks at Boston Dynamics have been making huge strides with their robot designs, where in the past we have seen the company create dog-like robots that can run and jump and traverse rocky terrain. We’ve also seen them introduce humanoid robots like Atlas that can walk on two legs, but now it looks like the robot has managed to learn some new tricks.
In the latest update to the Atlas robot, Boston Dynamics have managed to teach it some new skills, where it will be capable of pulling off some gymnastics-like movements. This includes the ability to do handstands, cartwheels, and a jump twist, all the while maintaining its balance, something that most humans would find hard to do without hours of practice.
According to Boston Dynamics, “First, an optimization algorithm transforms high-level descriptions of each maneuver into dynamically-feasible reference motions. Then Atlas tracks the motions using a model predictive controller that smoothly blends from one maneuver to the next.”
While we’re not sure if we ever need a robot that can do handstands or cartwheels, this demonstration shows how much more flexible robots have gotten, where this newfound flexibility could eventually lead to more types of robots and uses in the future. In the meantime, if you have a minute or so to spare, check out the new Atlas robot in the video above.