Watch: Boston Dynamics has a humanoid robot that can do box jumps — and a backflip

Astounding? Or are you kind of afraid of a robot takeover now?

Gymnasts dreaming of a future Olympic win might find they have some competition — the robot kind.

Waltham-based Boston Dynamics shared a video Thursday of one of their humanoid robots, “Atlas,” smoothly jumping up on larger and larger boxes before it does a backflip — its landing complete with arms being raised in triumph. The video has already racked up more than 3.5 million views and was No. 1 on YouTube’s trending page.

“What’s new, Atlas,” the company, which started as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology more than two decades ago and has received funding from the Pentagon, titled the video.


According to the Boston Dynamics website, the Atlas robot is the latest in a line of “advanced” humanoid robots being developed by the company:

Atlas’ control system coordinates motions of the arms, torso and legs to achieve whole-body mobile manipulation, greatly expanding its reach and workspace.  Atlas’ ability to balance while performing tasks allows it to work in a large volume while occupying only a small footprint.  

Last year, Atlas was put to the test by its creators trying to knock it to ground.

By the looks of the robot’s newest skills, it won’t have any trouble standing up to — or flipping over — any obstacles thrown in its way.