Menu
Google's Atlas humanoid robot takes a walk in the woods

Google's Atlas humanoid robot takes a walk in the woods

Boston Dynamics is working with untethered versions of Atlas that have 3D-printed parts.

Google's towering humanoid robot Atlas has shown off its bushwhacking skills with a recent walk in the woods.

Developed by Boston Dynamics, which Google bought in late 2013, the 1.88-meter tall, 156-kilogram Atlas is an experimental bipedal rescue machine with two arms that can use tools for humans.

It was originally designed to be able to walk over rugged, uneven terrain, and after several videos showing it walking over blocks in a lab, it has moved outdoors.

Video from Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert, presented earlier this month at the Fab 11 conference at MIT, shows Atlas marching through a wooded area, going off the path and walking through the undergrowth.

While handlers are holding the robot's power tether in the video, Raibert said Boston Dynamics is working with an upgraded version of Atlas that doesn't require a tether.

"We're making pretty good progress so it has mobility that's sort of within shooting range of yours," Raibert said in the video, adding that his goal is to build robots that can match or surpass human functionality.

Boston Dynamics is experimenting with 3D-printed parts, such as valves for hydraulic fluid, as well as shell and lattice structures for robot legs to make them stronger and lighter, Raibert said.

Sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Atlas was upgraded earlier this year with lighter materials, improved actuators to help it get up after falls and repositioned arms so that it can see its hands in motion.

Meanwhile, its wrists can rotate by themselves, allowing it to turn doorknobs without having to use its whole arm. The other major improvement is a variable-pressure pump that helps with energy conservation and makes the robot quieter.

It can also operate without its power tether.

Atlas was the basis of some of the robot platforms used in this year's DARPA Robotics Challenge, inspired by the 2011 disaster at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. The competition, designed to get a humanoid robot to complete several disaster-related scenarios, was won by a team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments