If a robot is going to assist first responders or do basic tasks, it can’t fall over. Researchers at Oregon State University’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory have created a prototype robot platform called ATRIAS with an emphasis on stability.

A few kicks from a researcher doesn’t even phase it. Dodgeballs? ATRIAS takes them like a champ. Wrenches? Researchers wouldn’t go that far.

Researchers have come a long way. Here’s the first prototype trying to hop for the first time back in 2011.

Inspiration for this specific ATRIAS robot came from a pogo stick. According to its official website, “ATRIAS is designed to move like a simple ‘spring-mass’ model.” This allows it to run while remaining stable.

ATRIAS’ legs are key to its agility and stability. The carbon-fiber leg mechanism is extremely light. It’s designed to soften each step instead of sending large jolts throughout the robot’s body. It works well in the videos above. There are barely any jolts in the upper body.

There are three ATRIAS robots across the U.S. The one above at Oregon State University. And, two more at the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University. Check out the University of Michigan’s robot below.

So, when will ATRIAS start saving the world? Researchers have a long way to go still, but you can see it in action this summer. Oregon State researchers will be giving a live demonstration of ATRIAS at the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Check out this post to learn more about the DARPA Robotics Challenge.

Head on out to the Fairplex in Pomona, California on June 5 and 6 to see the DARPA Robotics Challenge and the ATRIAS live demo.

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