Boston Dynamics, a robotics company that was once in the hands of Google, has made yet another step in developing lifelike humanoids. So far, the humanoids built by the company can do a number of things. They can open doors, resist being pulled around by their human engineers, and can even go out for a jog if they have to. But this is only the beginning. Boston Dynamics and the engineers who have been working on these humanoids are giving them a new ability. From now on, the robots will be able to do parkour.
It sounds interesting and exciting but most importantly, it’s real. In a video published by the company, the humanoid is seen running and jumping over a log. But this is not a big deal. After all, we have already seen Atlas, the name given to the humanoid, jump and run all the time as it hops over barriers with ease. But in this video, it does parkour. The move is so lifelike that you would think the robot is actually a human.
Lifelike humanoids are something that most of us have only seen in Sci-Fi movies but it seems we’re getting very close to the real thing. Boston Dynamics is one of the few companies that have been making quite a progress in this area. The company has built robots designed to emulate lifelike movements. It has built even dogs that move like man’s old friend and in fact, one of the dogs built by the company inspired a scene in the science fiction show “Black Mirror.”
The irony here couldn’t be more striking. In the past, such lifelike robots could only be a shadow of imagination brought out in movies and TV shows. But now, TV shows are borrowing ideas from existing robotic concepts. In other words, the idea of lifelike robots is no longer a myth, it’s as real as it can get. The video released by Boston Dynamics is available online and shows Atlas running and finally doing parkour in unbelievable fashion.
The advancements in robotic technology will get bigger as the years go. The increasing emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning could also add a new dimension to the progress made so far. AI will make it possible for companies like Boston Dynamics to develop intelligent robots. If they keep maintaining their progress in emulating human-like movements in their designs, then there’s no knowing what we will see next.
It has already been predicted that robots will become an integral part of our everyday life and we’re already starting to see this. The only difference is that most robots at the moment don’t resemble humans that much. However, it does look like the goal at least from the designs we have seen from Boston Dynamics is to create a robot that can easily pass as a human in all aspects. It will not be easy but the progress made so far is very promising indeed. Just watch the video and decide for yourself.