In recent years the name Boston Dynamics has become synonymous with next-level robotics. The robotics company has released a number of amazing videos showing off their creations, including Big Dog, Wildcat and Spot.
It’s interesting how watching the videos can elicit some odd emotions. Even though they are (at this stage) non-conscious machines, when the Boston Dynamics crew test their robots by kicking them around, you can’t help but feel sympathy for them, as if they are being bullied. On the flipside, those brought up on science fiction stories like The Terminator and I, Robot can’t help but wonder where this might all end up for humans…
Boston Dynamics have now released some footage of the new-and-improved model of their humanoid Atlas robot – one that can open doors, lift and place objects, recover from being pushed, and even stand back up after being knocked over. And those same emotions are bound to resurface, swinging from sympathy when Atlas is being pushed around, to trepidation when it gets pushed to the ground and manages to stand itself back up…remind me again where we’ve seen a robot keep getting up after being knocked down?
Here’s the blurb accompanying the video from Boston Dynamics:
A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.
Love seeing these advances in technology. Although I think we can safely say that when the robot revolution comes, that guy with the beard will be first on their list….