American robotics company, Boston Dynamics shared a video of one of its humanoid robots, “Atlas,” jumping up on larger and larger boxes before it does a backflip — its landing complete with arms being raised in triumph. The video has received more than 3.5 million views and was No. 1 on YouTube.
This video is an example of how robotics firms are developing artificial intelligence which copies human abilities and could be used to help or even replace humans in many scenarios.
So what’s a humanoid robot?
As the name suggests, it is a robot built to resemble the human body. In general, a humanoid robot has a torso, a head, two arms, and two legs. Some humanoid robots may model only part of the body, for example, from the waist up. Some humanoid robots also have heads designed to replicate human facial features such as eyes and mouths.
What is Atlas designed to do?
Atlas is designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings.
It is designed to be able to take on emergency situations where human life would normally be put at risk, such as going into buildings that have crumbled after an earthquake, or dealing with patients who have deadly, highly infectious diseases.
In the future, robots will be in the front line of combat, part of bomb squads, assist in performing remote intricate surgeries and many more.
Why is this cool?
So even though it can do back flips better than an average human, Atlas isn’t going to give US star gymnast Simone Biles any competition yet.
The robotics world is excited because so far it has been really hard to even make a two legged robot walk, climb stairs and just generally keep its balance.
This robot has other human-like abilities, such as a sense of balance, so it resists toppling when pushed, and so that it can get back up after a fierce shove.
With this ability and its stereo vision, Atlas will be able to manipulate objects in its environment and to travel on rough terrain.
This means that in the future, robots can perhaps take over doing jobs that put humans in harms way!