The 30-foot jumping robot: real or fake?

Boston Dynamics video looks good, but skeptics wonder about edits

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Robot-makers Boston Dynamics has a new video showcasing its "Sand Flea" robot, an 11-pound device that can jump 30 feet into the air and make a safe landing. The company says "an onboard stabilization system keeps it oriented during flight to improve the view from the video uplink and to control landings."

Normally, this would sound great, and the video seems to be pretty impressive. But as the folks on Reddit point out, during the video there are three different video cuts/edits that make it appear like the robot "leap" (from the ground to a roof, and from the roof down) could be fake. Take a look and decide for yourself:

After the "Flying Dutchman" video from a few weeks ago, which ended up being a fake, anything that looks amazing is going to be scrutinized 20 times 'til next Sunday. If this robot can actually do this stuff so well, why the need for those edits? What gives, Boston Dynamics?

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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