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WATCH | Humanoid robots are getting terrifyingly nimble - now they can see obstacles in their way

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Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot "Atlas" training to, presumably, take over the world.
  • Boston Dynamics is back at it with another video of its infamous humanoid Atlas robot.
  • The bipedal robot performs a parkour routine in the latest video.
  • The routine is intended as a demonstration of Atlas' evolving ability to adapt to what it sees.
  • Visit the Business Insider for more stories.

You've seen them perform elaborate dance numbers, and leap up massive sets of stairs, but the latest video of Boston Dynamics' humanoid Atlas robot is another major evolutionary step.

Atlas hops from platform to platform around a banked turn, deftly crosses a balance beam, and leaps across a massive gap in the new video.

"Partners in Parkour," as the video is titled, is a testament to the humanoid robot's ability to adapt, according to Boston Dynamics.

Rather than simply performing a pre-programmed routine, Atlas is dynamically responding to the obstacles in front of it.

"In this iteration of parkour, the robot is adapting behaviors in its repertoire based on what it sees," a blog post from Boston Dynamics said. "This means the engineers don't need to pre-program jumping motions for all possible platforms and gaps the robot might encounter. Instead, the team creates a smaller number of template behaviors that can be matched to the environment and executed online."

That's right: Atlas is acting more human than ever, which means we're all one step closer to the eventual robot takeover.

But don't worry yet, as Atlas is still having major problems performing relatively basic movements. Vaulting over objects, for instance, is still a big challenge.

"During filming, Atlas gets the vault right about half of the time," the blog post said. "On the other runs, Atlas makes it over the barrier, but loses its balance and falls backward."

In the final cut, of course, Atlas nails every move. You can watch the full video right here:


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