Boston Dynamics’ All-Electric Humanoid Atlas Robot With Advanced Movement Capabilities Unveiled


Boston Dynamics unveiled the next generation of its humanoid Atlas robot on Wednesday. The announcement came just a day after the company retired the hydraulic Atlas robot. The new Atlas is fully electric and comes with several upgrades over its predecessor, including a superhuman range of speed. In one video, a thinner and more athletic robot was shown moving in ways that defy human anatomy. The robotics giant claims that it will be able to lift and operate a variety of objects.

In a video posted on YouTube, Boston Dynamics introduced the electric Atlas robot designed for real-world applications. Based on the demo, the new robot now has a completely different design. It no longer has a heavy torso plate or wide upper body. The new Atlas has a slender, metallic torso, long and straight limbs, no externally attached cables, and a ring light around its head.

The demo begins with Atlas lying on the ground. As soon as it boots up, the humanoid robot folds its legs back over its body and then stands up and twists its waist 180 degrees as if it were a creature from a sci-fi horror movie. Over the next few moments, it turns its head twice and shows its head what appears to be a large camera lens and walks away taking straight and short steps.

In less than a minute, the video demonstrated that the new Atlas robot is not only more agile and flexible, but it can also potentially move heavier objects due to its larger limbs. Explaining its vision, Boston Dynamics said in a press release, “We have designed the electric version of Atlas to be stronger, more efficient and more agile. Atlas may resemble a human form factor, but we are designing the robot to move in the most efficient way to complete a task, not to be constrained by human motion.

Currently, the Electric Atlas is in testing and it will remain that way for the next few years. Over this period, the company plans to explore several new gripper variations to enable the robot to perform a wider variety of tasks. The testing phase will involve a limited number of customers, with Hyundai being the first in line.

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