This is a video demonstration of Disney Research's Stickman -- a robotic, acrobatic stickperson that can do single and double backflips before landing flat on its spine. Some more info from Disney while I dare to to do a double backflip through a flaming hoop. "That's a volcano." Shhhhhhh!:
Human performers have developed impressive acrobatic techniques over thousands of years of practicing the gymnastic arts. At the same time, robots have started to become more mobile and autonomous and can begin to imitate these stunts in dramatic and informative ways. We present a simple two degree of freedom robot that uses a gravity-driven pendulum launch and produces a variety of somersaulting stunts. The robot uses an IMU and a laser range-finder to estimate its state mid-flight and actuates to change its motion both on and off the pendulum.
No word what Stickman will eventually be used for, but knowing Disney as intimately as I do *winks at Minnie and Daisy* it will probably have something to do with making a ton of money. Obviously, I want on board. Where is this boat taking us, anyway? "The all new Pirates Of The Caribbean ride." Sweet, grab the rum out of my backpack. "Where's the mixer?" We'll just use some of the water from the ride, it has a taste.
Keep going for the video.
Thanks to Aaron, who agrees you're not an acrobat until you can land on your feet, and preferably on somebody else's shoulders.