Something that often bothers me about sci-fi is the loner inventor trope. A guy in a garage builds a robot, or AI, or frequently both that are somehow decades beyond the technology of his day, and all the wild implications of his vast technological leap are the fuel for the next two and a half hours of popcorn entertainment.
But the latest video from Boston Dynamics is the closest equivalent I’ve ever witnessed IRL. Sure, it’s the achievement of an entire company, and they’re doing it on YouTube for everyone to see, not in a basement. But a backflip?
It’s hard to even appreciate how hard this is for robots to do, because it’s hard to appreciate how difficult walking still is for humanoids. I wrote a whole piece about the problem of building walking robots back in 2011.
A backflip though?