Hardcore Parkour (With Robots)

Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrate the agility of their new robot RHex.

More

In 1954, George Devol created the first modern robot, programmable and digitally operated. In 1988, 15-year-old Frenchman David Belle created the sport of Parkour. And in 2013, the University of Pennsylvania created RHex, the Parkour Robot. Built as an all-terrain walking robot, RHex is designed to climb, jump, and spring over a multitude of harsh surfaces. Its builders hope that one day RHex may be sophisticated enough “to climb over rubble in a rescue mission or cross the desert with environmental sensors strapped to its back.” Its six legs allow the robot to execute some fairly impressive moves, including flips, double jumps, and even a pull up. In this film, producer Kurtis Sensenig let RHex loose, following him with cameras as he leaps, runs, and pulls his way through the campuses most formidable terrain. Completely self-aware in its own hilarity, the movie was shot with the same stylistic slow motion, multi-angle shots as a human parkour film.

The YouTube channel of the University of Pennsylvania is the perennial champion of online robotics movies and was previously featured on The Atlantic for their incredible video of robot quadrotors performing the James Bond theme song.

 

To see all their hits, including Robot Boats Rescue Mission and Robots Playing Hockey at Penn visit http://www.youtube.com/user/UnivPennsylvania.

Jump to comments

Paul Rosenfeld writes and produces for Atlantic Video. His work has also appeared on The Daily Beast and CNN.com.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In