Watch Google’s Advanced Humanoid Robot Go for a Run in the Woods (and Why That …

18 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google’s robot running through woods is a terrifying glimpse into our future.

Boston Dynamics, which is the same company behind the cheetah robot that can run and jump over obstacles, revealed in a recent video how its bipedal robot Atlas could go for a run in the woods, a pretty complicated task considering the rough terrain it had to navigate and balance upon. “Our focus is on balance and dynamics and working a little bit the way people and animals do where you move quickly in order to keep yourself stabilized,” Boston Dynamics Founder Marc Raiber said in the video. “We’re interested in getting this robot out in the world,” Raiber continued during a presentation for MIT’s Fab Foundation. “Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than in the lab. BOSTON DYNAMICS, the terrifying robot division of newly formed Google parent company Alphabet, has been showing off its humanoid running man, known as Atlas, on manoeuvres outside the lab. You can’t predict what it’s going to be like.” Raiber said Atlas has “mobility that’s within shooting range of yours,” as a video of it picking through bushes and jogging on a woodland trail played next to him. According to Boston Dynamics’ website, Atlas has “28 hydraulically-actuated degrees of freedom, two hands, arms, legs, feet and a torso.” Its head features “stereo cameras and a laser range finder.” Currently, Atlas is tethered to an electric power supply, but Raiber revealed that they’re working on equipping Atlas with an untethered power source.

However, don’t expect to find anything remotely as cuddly or cute as a teddy bear’s picnic, because a hulking terminator-like robot has been spotted roaming around the area. Observers quite often grimace at the sight of Boston Dynamics’ creations because their movements are so authentically biological, but their appearance is so ghastly. When the robot uprising happens, you’ll have Google—or Alphabet, as its parent company is soon to be called—to thank for those robots’ ability to track through the world.

According to Popular Science, the engineers sent the Atlas robot out into the world for the first time, trailed by someone carrying a power pack tethered to the robot. And if that’s not terrifying enough, the engineers at Boston Dynamics—seemingly taking inspiration from the evil kid in the first “Toy Story” movie—have made a robot dog with an arm for a head. This is good progress in comparison to how Boston Dynamics’ robots faired at the recent Robo-Olympics, where the humanoids tended to spend more time on their backsides than on their feet.

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