The parkour of the machines: a video of Boston Dynamics shows the new abilities of their robots.


The MIT-born company revealed images of its 1.52-meter-tall, 86-kilogram humanoids leaping over obstacles and cartwheeling during practice races.

Atlas, the humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics, has been showing his new ability: the parkour or free-running over obstacles.

On Tuesday, a new video shows Atlas hitting obstacles, cart whaling, and even falling head over heels during a practice race.

The company says that if a robot can develop the same movements and the same flexibility as an average adult, the range of potential applications will be practically limitless.

"Parkour is a useful organizational activity for our team because it highlights several challenges that we consider important," says Scott Kuindersma, Atlas team leader.

"How do we connect perception to action in a way that captures both long-term goals, such as going from point A to point B, as well as dynamic short-term goals, such as adjusting steps and applying corrective forces to maintain balance? ?" Kuindersma said.

Atlas is 1.52 meters tall, weighs 86 kilos, is powered by a hydraulic system and battery-powered electric motors, and has three onboard computers.

It's designed to be used as a research and development tool, and your Boston Dynamics team wants to push it to the limit. "Sometimes, it can be frustrating. Robots crash a lot," says Benjamin Stephens, Atlas team control chief.

"We learn a lot from that in terms of how to build robots that can survive falling head over heels and getting back up and doing it again, and we also learn a lot about behavior, control, what puts one foot in front of the other," Stephens said.

What is Boston Dynamics.

Marc Raibert is the CEO of Boston Dynamics; he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was also an associate professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University.

The company led by Marc Raibert is known for creating BigDog, Atlas, Spot, and Handle; Before those creations, Raibert founded "Leg Laboratory," a laboratory that helped lay the foundations for advanced dynamics in robot development. The former MIT professor also invented the first self-balancing jumping robots, which has also meant a breakthrough in robotics.

Thanks to his preparation and ingenuity, Marc Raibert has gained visibility in different sectors, especially in robotics. Despite this, it has kept Boston Dynamics as a company of only 200 employees, a size that represents a small payroll in theory for the impact it has on the world.

Although it is a company that Marc Raiber created at MIT in 1992, he separated it from the Institute and continued with its developments. And the notoriety that he continued to gain in the following years earned him the attention of one of the most relevant companies in the technology sector, Google.

In 2013, the technology company was acquired by one of the technology departments of the US multinational Alphabet Inc. He received support over three years when the company announced that it wanted to sell the company.

It was the Japanese company Softbank that won the Boston Dynamics purchase contest against Amazon and Toyota. However, the deal ended in 2017, and from then on, Dynamics has continued its great success and impact in the world of technology.