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Boston Dynamics' Atlas Humanoid Robot Can Now Do A Backflip: It's Awesome And Scary At The Same Time

21 November 2017, 5:26 am EST By Lipin Pappachan Tech Times
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Watch Boston Dynamics robot Atlas do a backflip

A small backflip by a humanoid robot is creating all the buzz and frenzy in the world of technology. It's awesome and scary at the same time. A giant leap in robotics but puts people on an uneasy turf, bringing to light once again, the scare of robots and artificial intelligence.

What seemed like a distant dream, where robots will be so close to human ability, the latest video of backflipping "Atlas"-- humanoid robot by Boston Dynamics is out from fantasy and sci-fi movie coming into reality.

Atlas Robots' Awesome Backflip

Atlas is the humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics' staple. It is one of the robots that can move like a human and perform several functions that other similar robot cannot do. Its size is relatively large, standing at 1.5m tall, weighing more than 165 pounds and carrying 22.4 pounds on its own, but it can do backflips. The only limitation is the battery power. As it continuously needs to balance itself on uneven ground, a lot of motion and power is utilized to keep it going.

Many of the parts used to build this robot is made from 3D printing. It helps to reduce the weight of the robot and provides more mobility. It expands the workspace for this robot with a small footprint and high strength to weight ratio. The other useful features like stereo vision and range sensing will help the robot manage difficult terrains and manipulate its surrounding objects.

A versatile offering from Boston Dynamics, Atlas robot will work in human spaces. Its new ability to do a perfect backflip places it leaps ahead of some other competitors' humanoid robots. A backflip is a not practical move to perform a function, but it is a yardstick by which the mobility of the robot is measurable. It proves beyond any doubt that this robot is destined for greatness and will create a new benchmark for the rest.

The Unease

The scare is natural for any human to witness such strength and balance from a robot with no human consciousness. Social media is already describing it as the end of humankind. An ability for any robot to accomplish a backflip was unimaginable a few years back. Now, people are dreaded by the idea of what robots could achieve in near future. Elon Musk has already warned of apocalyptic future if the rise of AI and robots is not controlled.

In the meantime, the general public can rejoice at the achievement of the scientific community. Robots can resolve many problems that plague the humankind. It can go where no human can go and perform its work without the limitations that humans face. There are a lot of shortcomings that the robots need to overcome and it will take more time, including the backflipping Atlas.

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