Google’s Atlas Humanoid Robot Hikes in the Woods

The high-mobility, the humanoid robot called Atlas took a hike in the woods and was able to maintain its balance despite the unpredictable terrain. A power tether was attached to Atlas while walking to keep it charged.

Google's Atlas Humanoid Robot Hikes in the Woods

Boston Dynamics, the robotics company acquired by Google developed Atlas, which walks bipedally, and its upper limbs can lift and carry objects. It can also use tools used by humans.

The video released by Boston Dynamics showed that Atlas was walking like a crouched limbo contestant with an attached power tether. It appears that Atlas walked like a person and more confident in aflat ground.

A step forward to developing Atlas’ balance and dynamics

According to Dr. Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics said the ability of Atlas to walk in the woods is a step towards developing the balance and dynamics that is natural to humans.

In a recent conference, Dr. Raibert said, “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.”

“Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than in the lab. You can’t predict what it’s going to be like,” said Dr. Raibert. He also stated that they are developing a version that does not need an attached power tether, and they are making progress on making it. They goal is for the humanoid robot to have a mobility that is” within the shooting range” of humans.

Boston Dynamics received funding from DARPA to develop Atlas

Boston Dynamics received $10.8 funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) to develop the Atlas for the agency’s Robotics Challenge.

The teams competing in the DARPARobotics Challenge used seven Atlas humanoid robots as base models. The Korean team that designed the robot named Hubo with the ability to kneel, roll around in wheels and rise on a bipedal position to carry out tasks won the competition.

The scientists believed that Atlas could eventually help people after disasters like earthquake and fires. The humanoid robot will be able to go to areas where rescuers cannot. However, they acknowledged that developing the robot with such abilities is very slow.