Historically, the capabilities of real-world humanoid robots lag far behind those of TV and movie counterparts. But robotics experts have been pushing the most advanced technology, and Boston Dynamics just shared a progress report: Their research platform Atlas can now complete the parkour routines of two robots.
Watching One-minute routine on YouTube (Embedded after a break) The displayed movements are more demanding than they dance to the song”Do you love me?“According to Boston Dynamics, this new feature is actually more impressive than it seems. Unlike earlier demos, this routine uses fewer pre-programmed movements that make up early dance performances. Atlas Now Make more use of its onboard sensors to perceive its environment, and make more use of its onboard computing power to decide how to best travel through the world according to specific conditions. It also needs to string together individual actions in a continuous sequence. It was impossible to do before.
This progress is hard to see from the robot demonstration videos, which are often edited and curated to show outstanding successes and skip all (many, many) failures.Boston Dynamics did do this before, but this time with Behind the scenes for nearly six minutes(Also after a break.) We saw robots stumble and stumbling while learning, and humans are trying to get them to stand up again.
The evolution of humanoid robots has not always been smooth sailing (sometimes fun), but Atlas has evolved by leaps and bounds over its predecessors such as Honda Asimo. Such research has found a way for a robot like Stretch that does not look like a human. Who knows, maybe someday real robots will be played by humans in costumes just like the robots in TV and movies.
[via Ars Technica]