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Title    Boston Dynamics' Atlas Can Now Backflip
Date    Saturday November 18 2017, @11:59PM
Author    janrinok
from the fortunately-skynet-isn't-self-aware-yet dept.

FatPhil writes:

Atlas, the hulking humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics, now does backflips.

To be clear: Humanoids aren't supposed to be able to do this. It's extremely difficult to make a bipedal robot that can move effectively, much less kick off a tumbling routine. The beauty of four-legged robots is that they balance easily, both at rest and as they're moving, but bipeds like Atlas have to balance a bulky upper body on just two legs. Accordingly, you could argue that roboticists can better spend their time on non-human forms that are easier to master.

But there's a case to be made for Atlas and the other bipeds like Cassie (which walks more like a bird than a human). We live in a world built for humans, so there may be situations where you want to deploy a robot that works like a human. If you have to explore a contaminated nuclear facility, for instance, you'll want something that can climb stairs and ladders, and turn valves. So a humanoid may be the way to go.



takyon: Don't forget the new SpotMini as seen at The Verge, Quartz, and Popular Mechanics. Even Ethanol-fueled couldn't stop it.

Original Submission #1   Original Submission #2


  1. "FatPhil" -
  2. "The Verge" -
  3. "Quartz" -
  4. "Popular Mechanics" -
  5. "Original Submission #1" -
  6. "Original Submission #2" -

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