Watch: This Google robot has learned a balancing act

Lynsey Barber
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Atlas can balance for a short time (Source: IHMC/YouTube)

Like a baby taking its first steps, the world has been privy to some seriously special moments in the lives of Boston Dynamics' robots.

The Google/Alphabet owned company (for now, at least) has brought us clips of Atlas opening doors, taking strolls through the woods (even in snow) lifting and stacking boxes, as well as most famously recovering from being pushed over by a bully with a hockey stick (you probably have to see it to understand).

Read more: If you go down to the woods today... you might find a Google robot

Now, a group of clever scientists has added a new trick to Atlas's box of surprise skills - balancing.

It may sound like a simple one, but for a robot, it's not that easy. Researchers at the IHMC Robotics lab (that's the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, part of Florida University) have devised a new algorithm to guide the robot to balance on top of a teeny tiny piece of wood just 2cm thick.

The impressive feat was caught on camera but the scientists called it a "lucky run", adding that usually it can't maintain the balance for long (and why they need to work on it).

Read more: Power off? Google said to be selling robot division Boston Dynamics

Watch the trick below...

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