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Boston Dynamics’ robots are learning how to run outside and navigate autonomously

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Boston Dynamics’ robots look more natural and more amazing with each video, and today the company posted two more clips to its YouTube channel showing the latest progress of its Atlas and SpotMini robots.

The clips don’t reveal much we haven’t seen before, but they both show how naturally these robots are able to move around. In one video, Atlas, the humanoid robot, goes for a jog in a grassy yard that appears to be sloped here and there.

It pauses at one point to jump over a log; while the jump isn’t the most elegant of its movements, it’s not exactly a surprise the robot can accomplish this: we saw it doing a backflip last year.

In the other video, the dog-like SpotMini robot runs around an office on its own and shows off its ability to climb up and down stairs without issue. Boston Dynamics says that an operator initially had to steer the robot through the course it took so that it could map the area. But for this video, it’s using that knowledge to operate autonomously, using cameras to avoid obstacles.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the video to me is this: seeing the strange four-legged robot walking around is apparently now so mundane, that Boston Dynamics just speeds it up so we can get to everything else.