Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot, Atlas runs, jumps and even does a perfect back flip

Boston Dynamics has built a humanoid robot Atlas, that can run, jump and do a perfect back flip. An earlier version had become an object of ridicule after a series of accidents at a government 'robo olympics' where it was seen constantly falling, and needing a crane to get back on its feet.

"Atlas is the latest in a line of advanced humanoid robots we are developing", Boston Robotics said.

"Atlas keeps its balance when jostled or pushed and can get up if it tips over."

Atlas can stay upright thanks to its stereo vision, range sensing and other sensors that give it the ability to manipulate objects in its environment and to travel on rough terrain.

Boston Dynamics says Atlas is a "high mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain.

"Atlas can walk bipedally leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment.

"In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces."

In one recent video, Atlas could be seen pushed over by an employee - and simply getting back up.

According to Boston Dynamics, the video showed 'a new version of Atlas', designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings.