Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot has now mastered balance


Google-owned Boston Dynamics keeps building robots that are relentlessly ticking off tasks you wouldn’t expect the machines to manage, the latest being balancing on a narrow plank.

The firm’s Atlas humanoid robot has been filmed balancing on a narrow piece of plywood, said to be only around 2cm thick, for 20 seconds. The human-like wobbling as the Atlas fights to remain upright is also uncanny.

Atlas has already ticked off throwing a paper aeroplane, a karate kick and running – the latter is a lot harder than it sounds as both feet leave the ground, not natural behaviour for a robot, whose systems are used to solid ground beneath its feet.

The humanoid bot, which stands at around 6ft 2in and weighs more than 150kg according to the robotics firm, has also mastered hoovering as part of the experiments to test its manoeuvrability.

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