Video Of Incredible Backflipping Robot Goes Viral, And Everyone Is Making The Same Joke

James Felton 17 Nov 2017, 15:27

Robots that are designed to move like humans have thus far tended to be pretty poor imitations of us. They move slowly, wobble like a well-set panna cotta, and fall over on contact with the floor.

That's not to undermine the technical achievement behind them. It's phenomenal that robots can even walk at all, even in their still clumsy robotic manner. 

Take for example Boston Dynamics' bipedal robot, first developed in 2013. It's the robot you have seen in endless gifs over the last few years, always being pushed around by its cruel human master or falling all over the place as it attempts to stack shelves.

It was a phenomenal achievement in robotics, but was unstable to say the least. 

Now, however, the Boston Dynamics team have created an updated version of the robot that's so incredible, everyone is joking that we're about to be killed in a robot apocalypse. The latest version of Atlas seems to have skipped walking altogether and moved onto complex backflips.

It's so precise, we're not sure how much people are exaggerating their fears when they welcome our new robot overlords.

Simply put, "we dead".

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The bipedal bot is much better than you will ever be at gymnastics. It is electrically and hydraulically powered, and can leap from box to box with incredible grace and precision – the likes of which we've never seen from a humanoid robot. 

As many people have been joking, if it ever puts this dexterity into killing all humans, it may well be the end of us.

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It's a phenomenal technical achievement from the team. Creating robots that move like humans is extremely difficult to achieve – it's why most robots you see tend to be on wheels, have four legs, or else move incredibly slowly. 

Practical applications for the bipedal robots (before they rise up against us) could see them used in rescue efforts where it's not safe for humans to enter and where a wheeled robot can't access, e.g. a collapsing building. There is no practical reason why the robot would need to backflip its way inside, other than to entertain the people being rescued. 

As if the looming robot apocalypse wasn't entertaining enough, Boston Dynamics also recently released a video of their adorable robot "dog" named Spot.

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When the uprising inevitably happens, at least it'll be fun to watch.

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