This ‘next generation’ Atlas robot can do almost anything including survive bullying by humans!
The Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics has just posted an incredible video of the next generation of its Atlas robot that they initially developed for the DARPA Robotics Challenge. It displayed the robot performing tasks including lifting heavy objects, opening doors and self-correcting when trying to balance or overcome obstacles and survive human bullying.
While Boston Dynamics calls this the “next generation” of ATLAS, it seems to be a huge technological leap forward that it’s more like a completely different species.
According to Boston Dynamics, the new Atlas is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. The company says the new robot uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and has other sensors in its head to avoid obstacles and navigate. Atlas is 5’9” (175 cms) tall and weighs 180 lbs (81 kg). The new Atlas is much shorter and lighter than the previous model, which was 6’2” (1.9 m) and 345 lbs (156 kg). Not only can the tetherless robot operate under internal power, but it can work indoors and out and boasts greatly improved balance.
The company isn’t saying much more, but the video does give hints regarding a number of other improvements. The video shows the robot walking out of the firm’s office and across a snowy plateau. While losing its footing several times, it corrects itself and stays upright. It is also shown moving 10kg boxes with ease in a tight space. It then faces a more difficult foe – an employee who is using a hockey stick to knock a box out of the robot’s hands, then pushing the box away so the robot has to chase after it. Another shows someone pushing the robot hard in the back, so it falls down.
This proves three things: the ability of the robot to acclimate to a changing situation, its advanced ability to regain its feet after falling down, and the Boston Dynamics team needs to seriously rethink robot-management relations.
In the past, the company has released videos of its four-legged Big Dog, Little Dog and Cheetah robots and the first version of Atlas, which was larger, tethered by a cable and less agile.
Watch the video below to check out the new Atlas displaying its stuff.