In a first of its kind, Atlas robot – a humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics – accomplished what other humanoid robots cannot yet do: backflip.
In a video shared by Boston Dynamics, Atlas was shown jumping from one box to another, backflipping, landing safely on its two feet and then raising its two hands. The video also showed that prior to this successful backflip, Atlas tumbled and fell during practice.
Atlas weighs 180 lbs and is about 5′ 9″ tall. According to Boston Dynamics, this humanoid robot was specifically designed to operate inside buildings and outdoors. It can, for instance, open doors. It was originally created for use in the U.S. military.
“It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated,” Boston Dynamics said. “It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects.”
Boston Dynamics was recently acquired by Japanese multinational telecommunications and internet company SoftBank from Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google.
“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities. Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots,” Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., said in a statement. “I am thrilled to welcome them to the SoftBank family and look forward to supporting them as they continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier, safer and more fulfilling.”