Boston Dynamics has yet again managed to impress us and totally freak us out at the same time.
A new video was released Tuesday by the robotics company showing its Atlas humanoid robots in beast mode while training on a parkour course. It is a milestone in teaching robots human behaviour, the company says.
“For the first time today, both Atlas robots have completed the complex obstacle course flawlessly,” a Boston Dynamics announcement reads. Or, nearly flawlessly.
The robots are seen jumping between raised, slanted surfaces as if they were tearing apart an American Ninja Warrior Set. Moment when two Atlas robots do simultaneous back flips on wooden blocks, and then land gracefully in squat to-Olympic photo finish Friends, I can tell you that I gasped.
The 10-year-old Atlas project was not without its challenges. And, as impressive as the parkouring C-3POs are, those not-so-cleanly-summited obstacles make for the best parts of the video. There’s also a reel of bloopers. It’s amazing to see the members of an inorganic race, who will almost certainly inherit the Earth, fall on their faces.
It’s all a learning experience, guys! Didn’t Atlas teach that you can get up from a fall?
Actually, this is exactly what Atlas researchers have to say about their blunders. The whole Atlas project is viewed as a testing ground to improve robotic capabilities at all levels of the company. Because Parkour requires a lot of mental and physical processing, and involves things that humans might subconsciously do like shifting balance, it is an intentional component of this. And, of course, there’s the learning-from-failure lesson in it all.
A Boston Dynamics member says that the video teaches them a lot about how to make robots that are resilient to falling and then getting up again.
It’s a good thing that we have the ability to learn from our mistakes, and it can lead us to beautiful faces like these.
Publiated at Tue 17 August 2021 23.40:04 +0000