Watch Google’s Terrifying Atlas Humanoid Run in the Woods

Atlas, a 6-foot, 2-inch humanoid robot from Google-owned Boston Dynamics, has drastically improved its walking ability since the DRC Finals. Watch it run through the woods and traverse rough terrain.

Photo Caption: It had its struggles at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, but the Atlas humanoid robot from Google-owned Boston Dynamics has come a long way as it recently went running through the woods.

Remember all the humanoid robots falling at the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals? They couldn’t get out of their own way.

Several DRC competitors used Boston Dynamics’ Atlas humanoid robot as a base, with teams adding their own software. However, the Google-owned (now Alphabet-owned) company says its software has come a long way since the DRC Finals.

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Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics, talked about the research and showed footage of the project during a talk on Aug. 3 at the 11th Fab Lab Conference and Symposium in Cambridge, Mass.

“Our focus is on balance and dynamics, working a little bit the way people and animals do, where you move quickly in order to keep yourself stabilized,” Raibert says. “We’re interested in getting this robot out into the world. Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than in the lab. You can’t predict what it’s gonna be like.”

He continues, “we’re making pretty good progress in making it so it has mobility that’s sort of within shooting range of yours. I’m not saying it can do everything you can do, but you can imagine that if we keep pushing, we’ll get there.”

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You’ll notice in the video below as Atlas runs through the woods (starts at 41 seconds), the humanoid is attached to a power tether. Raibert says Boston Dynamics is currently working on a cordless version.

Atlas is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 330 pounds. The robot has 28 hydraulically actuated joints and stereo vision. It now features an onboard 3.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, with the potential for one hour of ‘mixed mission’ operation that includes walking, standing, use of tools, and other movements.

POLL: Rank the Creepiest Humanoid Robots Ever

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
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