Disney’s human-scale ‘Stickman’ robot can do backflips

Humans can be great acrobats, but what about the Disney robots? Disney Research has one of those human-scale robots, called Stickman, because it's literally a robotic baton, which is capable of aerial acrobatics, like back flips.

Just as certain human inventions take nature (as a body armor), it seems that robots can follow humans. During a full recoil maneuver, Stickman swings from a cable mounted to the ceiling at 19.6 feet (six meters) above the ground, folds into a ball at maximum height and performs the trick.

Extended, Stickman is seven feet tall or, as the Disney Research article says, "to approach the height of a human acrobat with his arms raised above his head" – although it is worth noting that most of the Gymnasts are not near seven feet tall.

The detection of inertial movement, a trio of laser rangefinders and artificial vision allows Stickman to perform these doubles, but also guarantee their safety when landing on a mat.

You can see that Stickman successfully retracts (and also fails) in the next video.

It's not much now, but the possibility of gymnastics of robots and parkour is, in fact, becoming a reality. After all, the humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics made a successful back flip last year.