Everyone’s favorite future robot overlords are back with a new trick: parkour. SoftBank-owned Boston Dynamics released a short video today that shows its bipedal humanoid Atlas robot breezing over a log before showing some serious ups as it hops to the top of a set of staggered boxes.
It’s another feather in the cap of the small Massachusetts outfit, which has regularly teased new robots with new capabilities for years now despite having been abandoned by Google. While it’s still not totally clear whether Boston Dynamics will find paying customers for these robots, just look at the list of Things Boston Dynamics’ Robots Can Do:
- Open (and hold) doors
- Wash dishes
- Go trail running
- Lift boxes
Now that parkour has been added to this list, I hereby propose a free idea that I hope some media conglomerate snatches up: Robot Ninja Warrior. Think of it like a reboot of the DARPA robotics challenge, but with bleachers full of loud fans, lots of flashing lights and loud music, and plenty of #robotfails. Or maybeanotherreboot ofAmerican Gladiators. We can have our best, our strongest, and our fastest square off against robots like Atlas. Loser gets knocked onto a giant, squishy gym mat. Winner gets to rule the world.