Is it cool or creepy? Boston Dynamics' Atlas the robot is back to further humble humanity. The YouTube robot sensation famed for previously performing backflips has now mastered the art of parkour, an athletic discipline derived from obstacle course training used by the military.
The robot's control software uses its whole body -- legs, arms and torso -- to jump over a log and then leap up steps more than a foot high each, all without breaking pace. Atlas' computer vision helps it locate visible markers and find its footing, according to Boston Dynamics.
Spun off from MIT more than a quarter of a century ago, Boston Dynamics was purchased in 2013 by Google, which has since sold the robotics pioneer to the Japanese tech conglomerate
Boston Dynamics also drew attention earlier this year with the release of a videoopening a door.
Increasingly sophisticated robots have spurred concerns about the implications for the future, includingand being .
On a less fearsome note, Sony's robotic pooch Aibo was