Watch: Boston Dynamics shows off new electric Atlas robot that can move…differently

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Just a day after saying goodbye to Atlas, its famous hydraulic humanoid robot platform, Boston Dynamics released a new video showing a new Atlas, a fully-electric humanoid robot designed for real-world applications.

The video begins with Atlas seemingly lying down on the ground before it gets up in the most disturbing possible way. The humanoid robot has a relatively slender figure with longer limbs than its predecessor and a cylinder-shaped “head” that seems to host cameras and other sensors within a circular light that resembles the ring light used by most influencers.


Unlike its predecessor, which was intended purely as a research platform, Boston Dynamics hints that the new Atlas will join the dog-like Spot and warehouse robot Stretch as part of the company’s commercial offerings. Tesla and BMW are already experimenting with using humanoid robots in the manufacturing of vehicles and Atlas is set to follow a similar path.

Boston Dynamics said that it will receive additional investment from South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai. Hyundai will also begin experimenting with using Atlas to manufacture vehicles.

While Atlas’s form factor resembles that of a human, Boston Dynamics will not put the same constraints on its range of motion. It is made to move in the most efficient way possible to complete a task and therefore, in some ways, it will exceed human capabilities.

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That is why the way it gets up in the video looks so weird — no human is able to move like that. But perhaps, that is the easiest way for a humanoid robot to get up once it is on the floor. And there is a reason why Boston Dynamics is keeping the form factor — it makes the robot function much better in a world designed for humans.


 

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