Atlas is back and with a new set of moves. Boston Dynamics is showing off a floor routine they put together for their limber robot to go through. And damn, it’s more flexible than I am.
Boston Dynamics briefly touched on how they put this 30 seconds together:
We created the maneuvers using new techniques that streamline the development process. First, an optimization algorithm transforms high-level descriptions of each maneuver into dynamically-feasible reference motions. Then Atlas tracks the motions using a model predictive controller that smoothly blends from one maneuver to the next. Using this approach, we developed the routine significantly faster than previous Atlas routines, with a performance success rate of about 80%.
3D printed parts, custom motors, hydraulic power unit, and 28 hydraulic joints come together to make one impressive robot.
It’s incredible technology, but what’s the end goal for Boston Dynamics? They describe Atlas as a research platform, but they are gearing up to sell another one – Spot. That’s the dog looking one they would mess with.
Keep it up, Boston Dynamics and see what happens.
Kidding aside, the company also released a launch video for Spot.
According to the company, early adopters of Spot are already using it to monitor construction sites, remote inspections at gas, oil, and power facilities, and for public safety. Don’t expect Spot to be used in extreme temperatures, though. Think wildfires and stuff like that. The max operating environment temperature is 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
One of the payloads in development for Spot includes a PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) camera with 30x optical zoom. You can see how that would come in handy in areas where a person shouldn’t be or can’t reach.
Spot and Atlas are two of the four robots being developed at Boston Dynamics. There’s also Handle.
And Pick for moving boxes.
It’s crazy watching the work Boston Dynamics does and how it has evolved over the past ten years. Check out PETMAN from ten years ago strolling on a treadmill.