Backflipping Robot from Boston Dynamics

  • Boston Dynamics is back with updates to Atlas, its humanoid robot. Now, Atlas can do a backflip. 
  • Google sold Boston Dynamics to Softbank earlier this year. 
  • Boston Dynamics’ robots are both cool and creepy.

Boston Dynamics may have switched owners from Google to Softbank a few months ago, but development of its creepy-but-cool robots continues apace.

For instance, here’s a new video of Boston Dynamics’ human-like Atlas, which can now do a backflip. But don’t worry, that’s definitely not something we mere humans should be scared about.

Check it out:

It’s so close to lifelike — and yet not.

It seems like Boston Dynamics is ready to show a little bit more about what it’s been working on. Earlier this week, the company demonstrated the newest version of its SpotMini robot dog in a video that shot to the top of the YouTube charts.

And because we’re getting closer to the holiday season, here’s Boston Dynamics’ 2015 Christmas card, in which older versions of SpotMini take “Santa” on a ride.

Everything is fine.

This Guy Won’t Be Getting Out Anytime Soon

Thai fraudster sentenced to 13,275 years in prison

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A Thai court has sentenced a fraudster to more than 13,000 years in prison.

Pudit Kittithradilok, 34, admitted running a Ponzi scheme whereby he promised investors artificially high financial returns.

About 40,000 people were persuaded to pour more than $160m (£120m) into his companies.

The court found he engaged in illicit lending and some 2,653 counts of fraud. Thanks to his confession, it halved his sentence to 6,637 years and six months.

Prosecutors told the court that Pudit organised seminars where attendees were encouraged to invest in what he said were businesses linked to property development, beauty, used cars and exports, among other things.

 

According to the Bangkok Post, investors were promised generous returns, plus incentives to bring new members on board.

As with any pyramid scheme, these new cash injections would then be used to pay off the earlier backers.

Pudit had been held in Bangkok Remand Prison since his arrest in August, when he was denied bail.

The court fined his two companies the equivalent of $20m each. Pudit and the firms were ordered to repay around $17m to the 2,653 identified victims, with 7.5% yearly interest.

Sumo Wrestler in Bar Fight: Harumafuji admitted punching him hitting him with a karaoke remote control but denied using a beer bottle in the attack.

sumo

The 33-year-old wrestler from Mongolia has already apologised and stepped down over the incident.

He is facing a summary indictment, which means he is expected to be fined rather than tried in court.

Japan’s sumo world has been hit by scandals involving violence, mafia links and match fixing in recent years.

Harumafuji’s assault on fellow Mongolian Takanoiwa happened while they were out drinking with other wrestlers in a bar in the western city of Tottori in October.

The grand champion is reported to have been angered that his countryman was checking his phone while being given advice. The latter was admitted to hospital with concussion and a fractured skull.

Harumafuji admitted punching him hitting him with a karaoke remote control but denied using a beer bottle in the attack.

“I’m truly sorry for hurting Takanoiwa mentally and physically,” Harumafuji told police, according to Jiji Press.

Harumafuji started his career in Japan at the age of 16 and was promoted to grand champion or yokozuna – sumo’s highest rank – in 2012.

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) also recommended that its director Takanohana be demoted for failing to report the incident quickly enough, Kyodo news agency said.

Takanohana is a former sumo champion himself and the JSA is expected to finalise its decision in early January, according to Kyodo.