Boston Dynamics has demonstrated its Atlas robot again, and this time it can be seen grabbing, throwing and flipping over a simulated construction site.
Boston Dynamics has been demonstrating all kinds of robotic creations for many years, and in 2023 we got the opportunity to see what its Atlas robot is capable of. We’ve already seen him jump on uneven surfaces with impressive accuracy and self-correction technology, so what’s new this year?
No, they didn’t give the Boston Dynamics robot a gun. Although it is quite possible that someone could. But the company has committed not to use its robotic nose, and that’s a terrifying prospect. Last year we saw how Atlas became athletic thanks to impressive dance and parkour movements. Needless to say, it’s much more impressive than a new graphics card or PC.
Now, according to its creators, Atlas is designed to “think about the properties of objects” and manipulate them with a control system that can balance it and capture objects. He can choose what to do next with the help of software on board Atlas, which processes data and allows the robot to run around the construction site and scatter a bag of tools, manipulating key objects of interest.
Boston Dynamics also demonstrates how it works
The company also demonstrated exactly what happens to the robot when it moves objects, boasting about something called “proactive control”, which thinks about how hard it needs to grab onto surfaces before manipulating them.
It’s all a bit like science fiction, but it really isn’t. The robot can calculate force and effort to calculate things like speed and strength to throw objects, as shown in the video. But it requires a trial and error process. The robot can easily break down with all kinds of wiring to ensure that all sensors and cables are under control. But, nevertheless, the robot can regularly break down when trying to perform new feats.
The new jump that Atlas can perform is a multi—axis jump, which is a step forward compared to the single-axis jumps that we’ve seen before. We really can’t wait to see what the company will be able to do with Atlas next.