Usually, one way to determine how sophisticated robots are is to look at how they deal with obstacles standing in their way. Some are able to avoid them, some simply jump over them. But Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has developed a humanoid that can make use of obstacles.
The awesome HRP-2 is, for example, able to place an arm on a table before kicking away a ball lying in front of him to maintain his balance (more in the video embedded below). A piece of software helps HRP-2 to first identify which objects are located in his vicinity before suggesting possible movements that could help him finish the task at hand.
HRP-2 isn’t the fastest humanoid out there, but this video showing him in action is pretty impressive nevertheless: