Dive into the uncanny valley with Boston Dynamics’ newest bipedal robot
Boston Dynamics—part of Google's robotics division—has shown off the newest version of its "Atlas" bipedal robot. In a video posted to the company's YouTube page, the next-generation Atlas takes a stroll through the snow, recovers from a few slips, and even squats down to pick up a 10 pound-box.
This "next-generation" Atlas is a refinement of the old Atlas model, which was unveiled to the world in 2013. The old Atlas was a bit of a giant—it was 6 feet tall and weighed 330 pounds. The new Atlas is a lot closer to an average human, at just 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. This is also the first Atlas model to be equipped with a LIDAR system—a spinning metal can embedded in the robot's head.
The new Atlas goes through quite a gauntlet of tests in the video. After taking a walk over some rough, snowy terrain, a Boston Dynamics employee pushes it backwards with a hockey stick and smacks its toy box out of its hands. After being pushed so hard and taking a header into the floor, the robot shows it is still capable of picking itself up and going back to work.