ATLAS Robot
Front-view of the Atlas robot as it navigates inside the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories in Pennsauken, NJ on May 8, 2015. The lab's environment is intended to simulate a disaster zone in preparation for the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals in Pomona, California on June 5-6. (Photo by Dakota Fine/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
By David Kiefaber / November 19, 2017 10:00 am

We all laughed at ATLAS back in August when all the Boston Dynamics robot could do was fall down, and a few of us probably considered Softbank’s purchase of Boston Dynamics from Google to be a Seward’s Folly situation.

Well, laughter may give way to awe (and fear) now that ATLAS is some kind of robot gymnast supersoldier. A new video from Boston Dynamics shows the robot box-jumping, performing Olympic diver-level twists and turns in the air, and even executing a perfect backflip. Seeing something without a flexible spine land so gracefully is sobering.

Say what you will about the promise (and threat) of robots being overhyped, but the fact that Boston Dynamics went from that pogo-stick horse monstrosity to a parkour robot in less than 5 years is impressive. Scroll down to watch ATLAS show off its skills.