At this point in time, it is clear that Boston Dynamics is (probably) planning to take over the world. While we were all worried about an entity like SkyNet, Google-owned (well, actually Alphabet, but you know) Boston Dynamics is out there in Massachusetts documenting all of their little robotic victories on YouTube for us to marvel at and find endearing, while secretly they are (probably) planning some crazy stuff behind-the-scenes.
Up until this point, nobody has really been able to make a bipedal, humanoid robot that could balance itself with just two feet without it looking ridiculous. Now, here is Boston Dynamics using a control algorithm from IHMC balancing on one foot on the side of a piece of plywood. That’s something that the average person would even find difficult to do, never mind a bipedal robot. Yet, here we are, with this video perfectly documenting a robot doing just that.
Sure, the robot falls at the end and they claim that this was a “lucky run,” but write off any balance errors pretty easily; “The shaking is caused by poor state estimation (we only use onboard sensors).”
That’s a rather incredible feat, shaking or not, and if they could somehow make it balance better with less shaking? That’s a huge leap forward in robotics and we are one step closer to (probably) having robot overlords.