An image of Boston Dynamics' human like robot Atlas

Real Steel Has Arrived

Alexa Doe
Erica Doe

The Boston Dynamics robotics company has been hard at work for a few years now, creating robots that operate just like humans and even dogs. Their goal was to develop the first robot that run and maneuver like animals. Accomplishing that, Boston Dynamics now seeks to take the next step, combining the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and software for perception, navigation, and intelligence in the creation of a human like robot.

The current featured human-like machine is Atlas, known on Boston Dynamics’ website as The World’s Most Dynamic Humanoid. The humanoid robot that can not only walk, but leap, back flip and bound across platforms. Atlas’s creators at Boston Dynamics keep pushing the robot toward ever more ambitious athletic endeavors. Soon, these robots will be working with us in the job fields

According to their website, Atlas’ control system coordinates motions of the arms, torso and legs to achieve whole-body mobile manipulation, greatly expanding its reach and work-space. Atlas’ ability to balance while performing tasks allows it to work in a large volume while occupying only a small footprint.

The hardware was built with 3D printing to save weight and space, resulting in a remarkable compact robot with a high strength-to-weight ratio and a dramatically large work-space. Stereo vision, range sensing and other sensors give Atlas the ability to manipulate objects in its environment and travel on any terrain. Atlas keeps its balance when jostled or pushed and can get up if it tips over.

We’re maybe only a few years away from seeing heavyweight boxing matches between these robots in the ring.


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