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Boston Dynamic’s Atlas Robot Can Grab and Retrieve Your Heavy Tools

But will it get me my remote from the coffee table?

Boston dynamics robot grabbing wood
Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot has made several improvements over the years, from gymnastics to jumping around an obstacle course, but the team isn’t stopping there. In a fancy new video, the company has shown the prototype robot moving wood on a construction site, grabbing tools, and even throwing stuff.

Instead of only focusing on how to make the robot move through a room, now Boston Dynamics is working on how Atlas sees, views, and can manipulate objects around its environment. And while the construction site in the video isn’t a real job site, but a carefully crafted environment, it’s still pretty wild to see in action.

And while Atlas doesn’t have opposable thumbs, at least not yet, Boston Dynamics gave it “grippers” that act like hands. As a result, we can see Atlas moving wood to make a ramp, picking up a heavy bag of tools, and even throwing that bag to a worker above. Yeah, Atlas can throw stuff at you!

At the end of the clip, Atlas does an inverted 540-degree, multi-axis flip back to the ground, which is pretty impressive. According to the researchers, the extra asymmetry to that movement is a far more difficult skill than the parkour moves we’ve seen in previous years.

It’s worth noting that Atlas is a research project and is not available for purchase like the company’s “Stretch” robot. Still, watching all the progress and its weird human-like movements is fun.

Perhaps even more interesting is the behind-the-scenes video the team released. This shows Atlas picking up weights and balancing them, so it doesn’t fall over, and everything else that went into the fun video and demonstration shown above.

Boston Dynamics’ team lead on Atlas, Scott Kuindersma, talks about how this latest clip is “meant to communicate an expansion of the research we’re doing on Atlas.” He mentions how all the mistakes, falls, and failures aren’t shown, but it still shows all the progress happening behind closed doors.

And while this is a fun video to watch, I’m still waiting for my own bipedal robot to grab the remote, fetch some coffee, and do mundane tasks around the house.

via TechCrunch

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »