Boston Dynamics has unveiled an upgraded Atlas bot, and it is awesome. The robot can walk like humans, open doors, carry weights and remain balanced while walking in uneven terrain. It is a significant upgrade from a tethered prototype demonstrated six month ago, reported Pocket Lint.
At 5 feet and 9 inches, Atlas resembles a grown-up human. While it is not yet built with a capacity to think, it is now able to accomplish complex tasks. "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," Boston Dynamics explained in an introduction video uploaded in YouTube.
To demonstrate what Atlas is capable of, engineers were shown pushing the robot and knocking boxes away from its grasp. It responded to these conditions admirably, demonstrating stability, agility, adaptability and even a boundless patience towards its human tormentor. Check these tests out in the video below.
Atlas still has an awkward gait, News Hour reported. It also emits a loud sound when in motion that recalls the Alpha Dog pack mule robot that the company built for DARPA. This particular robot was retired because it was too loud for combat, as HNGN previously reported.
However, if one takes into consideration Atlas robot's previous versions, the pace of progress is truly astounding. The video shown above "counters some of the skepticism about how fast the field of robotics is moving forward," Aditya Kaul, research director for Tractica, told Tech News World.