Alongside the news that Boston Dynamics is going to let its robot dog, Spot, out of its laboratory for the first time, the company has released a new video of Atlas, its spectacular bipedal robot that’s previously been seen doing everything from parkour to backflips. In this latest video, Atlas does a small gymnastics routine, consisting of a number of somersaults, a short handstand, a 360-degree spinning jump, and even a balletic split leap.
What’s most impressive is seeing Atlas tie all these moves together into one pretty cohesive routine. In the video’s description, Boston Dynamics says that it’s using a “model predictive controller” to blend from one maneuver to the next. Presumably each somersault gives the robot a fair amount of forward momentum, but at no point in the video does it seem to lose its balance as a result. Amazingly, Atlas is able to roll gracefully along its back without any of its machinery getting squashed or tangled.
Just because Boston Dynamics was able to film Atlas performing this routine, doesn’t mean it’s able to perform it flawlessly every time. The video’s description goes on to say that the robot has around an 80 percent success rate, meaning that for every five attempts the robot is likely to fail once. Still better than most meat sacks can do.