Atlas, a humanoid robot produced by Boston Dynamics, has become increasingly athletic in recent years.

The internet gawks each time Boston Dynamics releases a video showing its eye-catching humanoid robot, Atlas, performing newly acquired acrobatic tricks.

But until now, most of the machine’s maneuvering — whether it was jogging, hopping over a log or executing box jumps — has remained well within the realm of average human athleticism.

Not anymore.

If the tech company’s recently uploaded video is any indication, Atlas has, in a matter of months, graduated from middle-school gym class to something approaching a professional athlete. In the 38-second video, the sturdy, battery-powered machine — standing 4 foot 9 inches and weighing 176 pounds — unleashes an exceedingly nimble routine (using its legs, arms and torso) with a degree of gracefulness that you’d expect from a human with years of training.

Despite that smoothness, the robot isn’t perfect, according to its handlers.

“Using this approach, we developed the routine significantly faster than previous Atlas routines, with a performance success rate of about 80%,” the description adds.

Within hours of being posted online, the latest Atlas video had racked up nearly 1.5 million views and thousands of comments, many of them suggesting the robot’s newfound athleticism was evidence that mankind’s reign over machines is nearing its expiration date.

“So we just going to keep acting like we never seen Terminator?” one commenter wrote.

“Absolutely amazing!” added another. “I can smell the future where robots are roaming in the streets with us!”

Monday, January 27, 2020