Boston Dynamics posts video of its Atlas robot walking around the forest

19 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A robot runs through it: Watch Boston Dynamic’s Atlas trot through forest.

“Out in the world is just a totally different challenge from the lab,” said Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert at the Fab Lab 11 Conference and Symposium in early August. “You can’t predict what it’s going to be like.” It’s the first video Boston Dynamics has shared of one of it’s humanoid robots outside the lab, according to BetaBoston. From behind it resembled a hunched, headless zombie tramping through the bushes at a furious pace, like a rambler who knows that the pub up ahead is about to stop serving lunch.Unlike famous movie robots such as C-3PO, Atlas is shown connected to a power tether during its walk in the woods, although Boston Dynamics says that it is working on a untethered version of the bot.

Atlas is, in many ways, a creature just like you: It walks upright on two legs, it can lift things and use tools, and it enjoys the occasional stroll through the woods. One of a number of innovative robots created by Boston Dynamics, Atlas has been designed to walk bipedally, leaving his upper limbs free to lift, carry and manipulate objects. “In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces,” explains Boston Dynamics, on its website. When Atlas is not creeping through the forest like a Walking Dead zombie, it’s working on its balance in the lab, walking swiftly over a pile of rocks that mimic the rough terrain a robot might encounter in a search-and-rescue or combat situation. “All kinds of stuff happens out there and we’re making pretty good progress on making it so that it has mobility that’s sort of within shooting range of [a human’s],” Raibert said. “I’m not saying it can do everything you can do, but you can imagine if we keep pushing, we’ll get there.” Other robots in the Boston Dynamics lineup include BigDog, which Raibert showed slipping on ice and recovering, and LS3, which can carry a 400-pound payload 20 miles. The humanoid robot is one of Google-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics’ creations, and while it can’t do everything a human can do yet, it’s getting close. Several versions of Atlas were also a contestant in a robotics challenge hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in which robots were programmed to complete tasks in mock disaster scenarios.

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