What will robots be able to do in the future? It would be more valid to ask what they won’t be able to do. The recently developed parkour robot is a feat of technology. The robotics company Boston Dynamics designed it. It’s their Atlas bipedal robot, which autonomously performs complex exercises. Yes, even parkour, from jumping to obstacle avoidance. It even does somersaults.
The American company widely celebrated the goal. It claims that this is the first time its Atlas robot has achieved such movements. It has been able to successfully perform a complex obstacle course. This is similar to sports like parkour. This has been reported by Boston Dynamics in a statement.
It was in a video released on Tuesday. The company exhibited there two Atlas robots. They are bipedal and with anatomy inspired by the human being. They perform exercises on a series of wooden platforms. They can climb steps, jump, overcome obstacles. In addition, they walk along a narrow strip and do somersaults.
The two robots were able to overcome the obstacle course. It was a success. They were able to do it synchronously. There was just a small mistake at the end in the celebratory gesture. However, the company explained that it was the result of several tests. It took several falls of the robot, shown in another video.
Boston Dynamics explained. Perhaps their robots’ actions such as somersaults will probably never be commercially useful. But their goal is others. “We want to perform the same range of movements and physical tasks as humans.”
For the company, parkour was a good example of exercise. So it was the perfect test for the Atlas robot. It requires balance in a variety of movements. Also, being able to link them together.
The robot that does parkour isn’t fully autonomous yet. But it’s a big step towards the goal. They seek to “create a solid foundation for tackling the next set of research problems”.