Atlas Robot Reveals Its Progress: See How Close it is to Being Work-Ready

Shaun
Jan 20, 2023
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Boston Dynamics is a company you may have heard of before. A few years ago, the company went viral when another one of its creations, Spot the robotic dog, turned a corner in a suburban home, slipped on strategically placed banana peels, and promptly fell over. This was a significant meme for a while. However, the company has just released fresh footage of another of its creations, Atlas, and this robot is no laughing matter. 

What is Atlas?

Boston Dynamic's Atlas is a highly advanced humanoid robot that was first introduced to the public in July 2013. It is specifically designed for navigating rough, outdoor terrain and is capable of performing tasks that would be dangerous for humans. Atlas stands at 1.5 meters tall and weighs 75 kg, allowing it to walk on two legs while using its arms for tasks such as lifting and manipulating objects. 

With features such as stereo vision and range sensing, Atlas is able to maintain its balance while traversing difficult terrain. Its primary purpose is to assist emergency services in search and rescue operations by performing tasks such as turning off valves, opening doors, and operating equipment in hazardous environments.

Check out how capable Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is

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Why is Atlas so important?

For a while, the robotics industry has struggled with mimicking realistic human perambulation. But, Boston Dynamics has succeeded where most have failed with a truly bipedal robot that not only has stability when stationary, but also seems to be able to perform complex maneuvers without losing its footing. 

In a new video, the company showcases Altas at work in a construction-type setting. The setting is sort of like an obstacle course where the robot needs to adjust its course and interact with its environment in certain ways in order to perform each task. In the video, Atlas helps a human construction worker standing on top of the scaffolding. The video starts off with the worker exclaiming, ‘I forgot my tools again!’ 

Atlas then creatively constructs a bridge using a piece of wood, retrieves the human worker’s tool bag, crosses the bridge and throws the bag to the worker. In an impressive display of agility, Atlas performs an ‘inverted 540-degree multi-axis flip’ before landing back on the floor.

While this project is ultimately an experiment in exploring the limits of bipedal athleticism, locomotion and environmental interaction, robots like these could realistically have a role to play in the society of tomorrow, or even that of today. This robot is a testament to how far we’ve come in terms of technology and the desire to simplify the human experience. However, for now, Atlas is not for sale. 

The company has previously released videos that showcase Atlas' human-like movements, such as performing parkour, jogging, and doing backflips. It is also now equipped with hands instead of spherical stubs as it had before. Atlas is one of the many robots created by Boston Dynamics, which regularly releases new videos of its robots in action to great excitement. One of the other robots is the aforementioned robotic dog, Spot, which is for sale. You can purchase the latest iteration of the robotic dog for around $75,000. Rest assured, it’s current iteration is leaps and bounds ahead of the version that was turned into a meme. 

Check out how capable Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is

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Comments

  1. Benjamin said on January 20, 2023 at 12:15 pm
    Reply

    This Boston Dynamics machines all have an achilles heel a rather simple one.
    Machines are invented for the sole reason to be good for human lives like emergencies whatever yet they also end in in battle fields as machines to kill. First some folks try to bring some kind of ethics into the debate if there is any but commerce and greed soon takes over. No society was ever allowed to define what is progress, good or bad and what is not. This was always done for us…

  2. John G. said on January 20, 2023 at 1:05 pm
    Reply

    Progress is whatever that gives people dignity enough to live a life with freedom, work, health, education and family, with no exclusion due to race, religion, gender or any other type. Speaking about racism, the USA belongs to the 2023’s most racist countries (in fact is the only one that still ask for race, legally). Oh surprise, Qatar is in the first place of such list and despite of it, it did the World Football Championship 2022. And yet another surprise, our beloved Ukraine that fights against Russia for “peace and world democracy” is also in the list, in 9th place, not bad. As I said weeks ago, words mean nothing actually, there are only lies and propaganda.

    1. Someone said on January 20, 2023 at 2:00 pm
      Reply

      “As I said, words mean nothing actually, there are only lies and propaganda”.
      This is politics of American empire, and all around of the world.

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