You can’t put a good robot down.
This is probably a good takeaway from a new video showcasing Boston Dynamics’ next-generation Atlas robot, which the Alphabet-owned group made lighter, smaller and more agile.
In the video, the humanoid machine is subjected to varying jerk-level forms of abuse from human trainers, who push and knock the robot off its feet several times.
The electrically powered Atlas robot boasts of LIDAR and stereo sensors in the head to assess the terrain and navigate well, as well as leg and body sensors for balance.
And in its glorious online moment, it displayed such wonderful adeptness whether outdoors or indoors.
Here’s how the video goes: Atlas takes a walk through the snow-laced woods, then proceeds indoors to show off its object-lifting skills. But then a guy with a hockey stick steps in to spoil the fun, hitting and pushing the box with the stick, and making the robot chase it across the open space.
It doesn’t stop there. The human proceeds to take a cheap shot at the robot itself, who handled the situation quite well. Atlas gets up after being pushed down – and no one knows if it’s bound to give humans a bitter taste of its revenge anytime soon.
This Atlas is a smaller yet also wireless version of the battery-operated robot that shed its safety cables to adhere to the stricter rules of the DARPA Robotics Challenge finale slated for June.
In the robotics challenge of the Pentagon’s high-tech weaponry and robotics division, seven of 25 competing teams used the upgraded Atlas robot but with distinguishing software, user interface and strategy from each model.
The challenge is for the competing robots, intended for search-and-rescue operations, is to operate wirelessly, work on their own for a brief period of communication blackout and get up if they fall – which is what Atlas so flawlessly demonstrated in the video.