Boston Dynamics’ Fully Electric Atlas Robot

Boston Dynamics unveiled a new film showcasing a completely electric Atlas humanoid robot.

Image credits: Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics, a firm best known for their terrifying movies of robots dancing, completing obstacle courses, or racing through forests, debuted Atlas, its newest robot, in a new video that was posted on Wednesday.

The company's newest humanoid robot, Atlas, is their first totally electric model and is "designed for real-world applications." An older Atlas model had hydraulic power prior to this one.

“This week we announced the retirement of our hydraulic Atlas and unveiled what comes next—a fully electric Atlas robot designed for real-world applications. The next generation of the Atlas program builds on decades of research and furthers our commitment to delivering the most capable, useful mobile robots solving the toughest challenges in industry today: with Spot, with Stretch, and now with Atlas,” the company said.

The goal of Boston Dynamics' redesign was to demonstrate that Atlas can maintain a humanoid form without restricting "how a bipedal robot can move." The company states that the updated model is "uniquely capable of tackling dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks" because of its swiveling joints.

“We designed the electric version of Atlas to be stronger, more dexterous, and more agile,” the company said in its press release. “Atlas may resemble a human form factor, but we are equipping the robot to move in the most efficient way possible to complete a task, rather than being constrained by a human range of motion. Atlas will move in ways that exceed human capabilities.”

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Boston Dynamics also said that in order to prepare the robot for a variety of diverse industry contexts, it is investigating “several new gripper variations” in addition to enhancing the capabilities previously attained with the previous generation hydraulic Atlas model, such as lifting and navigating things.

Hyundai will be the first company "over the next few years" to test the redesigned Atlas, according to Boston Dynamics. Similar tests are being conducted on Mercedes and BMW production lines by competitor suppliers Figure and Apptronik, respectively, with regard to other humanoid robots.

“Commercialization takes great engineering, but it also takes patience, imagination, and collaboration. Boston Dynamics has proven that we can deliver the full package with both industry-leading robotics and a complete ecosystem of software, services, and support to make robotics useful in the real world.,” the company said.

Sam Draper
April 29, 2024

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