SoftBank owned robotics firm Boston Dynamics recently released two new videos showing off what their robots can do. The video posted on YouTube shows Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot Atlas running across different types of terrain, from open land to gentle slopes – and nothing can slow him down. (Somebody needs to introduce Atlas to Netflix, so he would skip running for a few hours on the platform like I do. Seriously!) Jokes apart, the bipedal robot does a pretty good job of running through the yard and leaping over logs.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen humanoid robots trying to walk on different types of terrain. An amusing YouTube compilation shows a bunch of bipedal robots tottering as if they’ve been on the booze all day.
SpotMini goes on an autonomous walk!
In the second clip, Boston Dynamics showed off the dog-like SpotMini robot climb up and down stairs. The Verge reported the robot was originally guided by an operator to route manually. Once the robot has mapped the area, it uses the cameras mounted on its front, back and sides to navigate autonomously.
“During the autonomous run, SpotMini uses data from the cameras to localize itself in the map and to detect and avoid obstacles,” Boston Dynamics said in notes accompanying the video.
The QR codes visible in the video are for measuring performance.
This February, Boston Dynamics also showed off a robotic dog that could open doors.
In 2017, Google parent Alphabet Inc. sold the Massachusetts-based robotics company to Japanese holding company SoftBank Group Corp. for an undisclosed amount. Boston Dynamics has built a stellar reputation for developing some of the most advanced robots on Earth. Some of its impressively engineered robots are BigDog, WildCat, Atlas, SpotMini, and Handle. The firm’s long-term plans are unclear. Robots with remarkable mobility, agility, dexterity, and speed could one day replace humans as the dominant worker group across a range of industries. For the time being, Boston Dynamics is keen to continue developing “machines that break boundaries, and work in the real world.”
Atlas running is one of the most exciting things we’ve seen so far! Last November, Boston Dynamics showed off a video of the bipedal robot performing a 10/10 backflip. If you feel it’s not impressive enough then consider this: the bipedal robot is 5-foot-9-inch and weighs 180-pounds. During its journey to fame, Atlas has seen made quite a few faux pas as well! Last August, we saw a video of Atlas tripping over a light on stage, and once during a shelf-stacking demonstration.