Boston Dynamics' robots are at it again, and this time they're doing parkour.
Yes, you read that right: a robot doing parkour, and pretty well, too, all things considered. In a report by CNET, two new bipedal bots from Boston Dynamics were shown absolutely CRUSHING an obstacle course with not much effort.
The robots were shown jumping on what looks to be color-coded platforms, walking on narrow beams, and even showboating a little bit by doing backflips off of the platforms. Here is a video of them doing just that:
Based on how these machines move, it could be safe to say that they're already way better at doing parkour than most humans. Well, "most," because human parkour athletes would put them to shame. Still, it's an insane leap in engineering and robotics.
According to Engadget, the parkour routine took Boston Dynamics months to prepare. They also said that parkour was the perfect test of the robots' dexterity and ability to maintain their balance, especially while switching their behaviors and actions on the fly. That's the keyword: "on the fly." These machines were performing the parkour stunts basically by themselves without any pre-programming.
Boston Dynamics Parkour Bot At A Glance
The two machines demonstrating their "skills" are the Atlas models, which Boston Dynamics says were designed for search and rescue operations. First introduced in 2013, the Atlas robot stands at around 5 feet tall and possesses 28 degrees of movement freedom using hydraulics.
Since these robots were designed for search and rescue, Boston Dynamics had to make them nimble enough to do things like parkour. With their degree of movement freedom, the Atlas bots could find it much easier to traverse rough terrain like rubble from a destroyed building or muddy roads.
But of course, performing parkour stunts is not the be-all-end-all of the Atlas bots' movement capabilities.
Boston Dynamics vs. BTS
Back in June, an unbelievable challenge was issued to members of the world-renowned K-Pop boy band BTS: a dance-off against Boston Dynamics dog-like robots. The machines performed so well to the tune of BTS's 2020 song "IONIQ: I'm On It" that the video went viral, and several BTS members were impressed.
But unlike what the Atlas parkour bots did, the dog-like robots had to prepare ahead of time for their dance routine. Boston Dynamics roboticist Eric Whitman revealed that the performance was choreographed with the help of pro choreographer Monica Thomas, who has previously helped the company out with their dancing robot videos.
Does This Mean Parkour Robots Will Start Chasing People?
As freaky as it might look right now, you have nothing to fear about a parkour bot chasing you down after you did something sketchy. As you can see from the video, their moves are still quite easy to predict and easy to counter if you had to deal with them going after you.
So, rest easy. For now, at least.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce