Boston Dynamics shows how bipedal Atlas robot flips, vaults, and falls over in latest videos

Boston Dynamics has published a pair of new videos showcasing its bipedal Atlas robot. The first is typical Boston Dynamics flash, with two Atlas units demonstrating an extremely impressive gymnastics routine. They flip, they vault, they nearly fall over but not quite — it’s brilliant. The second video, though, offers an unusually transparent assessment of Atlas’ capabilities, as the company’s engineers explain what goes into creating these routines.

As Boston Dynamics has said before, Atlas is essentially a research project: a cutting-edge machine that helps the company’s engineers work out better control and perception systems. “At a practical level it’s a platform for us to do R&D on,” says Benjamin Stephens, control lead for Atlas,…

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