Published on Oct 11, 2018
In a new YouTube video from robotics company Boston Dynamics, which Alphabet sold to SoftBank last year, a robot is shown hopping over a log and then up a series of blocks, an activity called parkour. This two-legged robot, called Atlas, is the same one that was shown doing a backflip less than a year ago. The video is called “Parkour Atlas,” in reference to a popular recreational activity among young people. In a 2007 New Yorker article, parkour is described as “a quasi commando system of leaps, vaults, rolls, and landings designed to help a person avoid or surmount whatever lies in his path.” An earlier version of Atlas starred in the Darpa Robotics Challenge in 2015. Teams of researchers added their own technology to the robot, with varying degrees of success.