Caitlin Petrakovitz studies the Marvel Cinematic Universe like it's a course in school, with an emphasis on the Infinity Saga years. As an audience expert, she rarely writes but when she does it's most certainly about Star Trek, Marvel, DC, Westworld, San Diego Comic-Con and great streaming properties. Or soccer, that's a thing she loves, too.
In yet another move to replace humans, Boston Dynamics has introduced its Atlas robot to parkour. The Atlas is the same robot that can run to hunt down humans, do backflips over our cold dead bodies, and now navigate obstacles. Atlas feels appropriate as a name here since this thing will likely literally one day support the weight of the world on its lightweight 3D-printed robotic shoulders.
Watch this: Atlas the robot does parkour
The company says Atlas "uses the whole body including legs, arms and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace." The steps are 40 centimeters high (about 1 foot, 4 inches) and Atlas uses computer vision "on the approach to hit the terrain accurately." Boston Dynamics calls the robot "the world's most dynamic humanoid" and it weighs 75 kilograms, or about 165 pounds.
Basically what that means, and what you can see in the video, is that Atlas can shift its weight to leap over a log and then up on a three-tiered platform at speed using its 28 joints and hydraulic actuation.
If Atlas scares you more than Boston Dynamics' Spot, that cute little dog that can open doors and walk itself, then congratulations, you're smart and maybe the robots will spare you for your healthy fear. And in case you want to invite the robots directly into your home, Boston Dynamics says it'll begin selling its SpotMini robot next year to companies that want a mechanical quadruped to go where wheels cannot.
Meet Boston Dynamics' weird and wonderful robot family