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Boston Dynamics shows off Atlas robot doing parkour in new video

Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot, known as Atlas, showed off its impressive parkour capabilities in a new video the robotics company posted to YouTube on Tuesday, coinciding with the commercial launch of their dog-like robot, Spot.

In the video, the Atlas robot shows off in a gymnastic routine, complete with somersaults, handstands, jumps, and turns. 

Boston Dynamics said in the video’s description that a new algorithm was used that tracks the robots’ motions and predicts its next maneuvers. The company said that with the latest technological approach, the Atlas has a performance success rate of about 80%. 

Atlas has come a long way since 2017 when it fell off a stage during a presentation at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders. With the new technological advances, Atlas looks like a seasoned athlete preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Atlas can already move with ease across a range of terrains using its built-in Lidar and stereo sensors and even get back up by itself if it falls down, so it appears to be heading toward an endless range of applications.

The humanoid robot has hydraulic 28 joints that allow for this impressive mobility, and lightweight 3D printed parts that allow it to weigh only 80 kg (176 pounds). 

It’s one of four robots that the Massachusetts-based team is perfecting. One of its most well-known robots, Spot, is finally available for purchase.

Only companies can apply to buy Spot right now, which means you can’t purchase your own pet Spot for your home. Boston Dynamics said that the robot could be used to monitor construction sites, remotely inspect gas or power installations, and be used for public safety. 

The company released an additional video on Tuesday about Spot’s launch showing off how it can benefit companies or organizations. 

The “robotic dog” can climb stairs, use a camera to avoid obstacles, has customizable payloads, and can use an arm-like appendage to move in a variety of ways. 

Digital Trends reached out to Boston Dynamics to find out more about the cost of Spot, as well as when Atlas will be ready to join Spot in being available to the public. We’ll update this story if we hear back. 

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