Boston Dynamics Atlas robot

Screengrab via Boston Dynamics/YouTube

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot’s new skills are freaking terrifying

Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot would probably win the robot Olympics.


Christina Bonnington


Published Nov 17, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 10:48 am CDT

Boston Dynamics‘ Atlas robot is one of the most advanced robots on the planet, and it has some amazing new moves. Atlas can now jump and flip with the exactitude of a Crossfit extraordinaire, or maybe even a full-on gymnast. Well, it’s at least more talented than your average gym goer.

Boston Dynamics, founded in 1992, was first known for its quadruped BigDog robot and its smaller cousin, Spot. In recent years, the company (first acquired by Google in 2013, then sold to Softbank in June) has focused its efforts on bipedal robots too, with the Atlas. This model, dubbed “the world’s most dynamic humanoid,” has gone through several renditions and evolutions over the years. This includes a version where it sported wheels instead of feet.

Now, it’s all about how Atlas can bound through the air. You can check out Atlas’ latest abilities in the YouTube video below.

If you watch through to the end of the video clip above, you get a glimpse of a couple Atlas fails (for which the robot is also well-known). However, our favorite moment is probably just after the 20-second mark, when the humanoid robot throws both hands in the air to mark the completion of its successful flip. How cute is that?

On Twitter, some share that sentiment, while others—not so much. The reactions to this Boston Dynamics Atlas video are excellent, ranging from admiration of its robo-abilities to outright terror.

Regardless of whether you think this brings us one step closer to the robot-pocalypse or not, you’ve got to admit that Atlas has some surprisingly deft moves for a robot of its size.

If Boston Dynamics keeps up this work, maybe we’ll see Atlas reach Olympic-level abilities in the next few years. The robot is certainly ready to dominate the robot Olympics.

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*First Published: Nov 17, 2017, 11:20 am CST