After Atlas, the 6 foot 9 inch, nearly 180-pound humanoid robot, became the target of ridicule for a less than stellar performance during the government “robo Olympics,” new video footage shows “the World’s Most Dynamic Humanoid” making astonishing jumps and performing backflips after the robot’s makers completed an overhaul, increasing its stability.
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As reported by The Daily Mail, Atlas, a product of Boston Dynamics, experienced significant issues during the “robo Olympics,” repeatedly falling over and requiring a crane to help return it to an upright position.
Now, Atlas is stable enough to perform backflips and stick the landing or correct itself if the landing isn’t perfect.
“Atlas is the latest in a line of advanced humanoid robots we are developing,” said Boston Dynamic. “Atlas keeps its balance when jostled or pushed and can get up if it tips over.”
To help the robot maintain its balance and navigate the environment, Atlas incorporates stereo vision, range sensing, and a variety of other sensors. It can even successfully travel over “outdoor, rough terrain.”
“It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance, and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain and help with navigation.”
“Atlas can walk bipedally, leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment,” Boston Dynamics stated.
“In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces.”
The robot is “electrically powered and hydraulically actuated,” according to the firm.
While some videos show the robot losing its footing, Atlas is able to correct itself and remain upright, even when pushed.
Though robots still have a long way to go before they can match the dexterity of a person, the potential benefits of the technology are numerous, especially in disaster scenarios.
Gill Pratt, the organizer of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) “robo Olympics,” stated, “Sometimes, in a disaster, it is too dangerous for people to go in.”