Boston Dynamics' Atlas Robot Learns Parkour For Crazy New Video

Boston Dynamics has published another video showcasing its Atlas robot and the new skills it has acquired. This video, simply called "Parkour Atlas," shows the company's Atlas robot perform a fairly basic parkour activity — quickly ascending three large steps — with a level of agility that is life-like.

Though the robot isn't quite at the level of human activities, Boston Dynamics has made great strides over the last couple years. The company has published many videos of the robot, which used to lumber stiffly and be tethered to its controller with a large bundle of cables.

The latest video shows the robot quickly climbing three steps, using one leg and a quick hop for each elevation change. Boston Dynamics points out that Atlas is using its whole body, this including the arms and torso, to perform the jumps.

The step height was 40cm / 15in, according to the company, which says Atlas never lost its pace when climbing the steps. After ascending them, the robot breaks into a fast sprint, doing so on two legs without anything external to stabilize it.

Atlas is only one of many robots developed by Boston Dynamics, which demonstrated a version of its SpotMini with an arm attachment earlier this year. The dog-like robot, which walks on four legs, was shown opening a closed door on its own, as well as breaking free of an aggressive human.