Watch these humanoid robots do parkour (and sometimes fail gloriously!)

Boston Dynamics' Atlas robots doing parkour reminds me of when my kids were little and ran around the gymnastics play space at the community center, except… these are robots!!! Gasp, cheer, and cry at their failures and get a glimpse behind the scenes in the below videos. From Boston Dynamics:

A robot's ability to complete a backflip may never prove useful in a commercial setting. (Atlas is a research platform, not a commercial product.) But it doesn't take a great deal of imagination or sector-specific knowledge to see why it would be helpful for Atlas to be able to perform the same range of movements and physical tasks as humans. If robots can eventually respond to their environments with the same level of dexterity as the average adult human, the range of potential applications will be practically limitless. 

"Humanoids are interesting from a couple perspectives," Kuindersma says. "First, they capture our vision of a go-anywhere, do-anything robot of the future. They may not be the best design for any particular task, but if you wanted to build one platform that could perform a wide variety of physical tasks, we already know that a human form factor is capable of doing that."