The Google-owned company Boston Dynamics has unleashed its bipedal humanoid robot into the wild for the first time.
Boston Dynamics, based in Waltham, Mass., builds rough terrain and anthropomorphic robots designed with "mobility, agility, dexterity and speed," according to its website. The latest model, the Atlas, is a combination of both, with legs that are intended to traverse extreme topography and limbs that are meant to lift heavy-duty objects and "manipulate the environment" it finds itself in – even climb it.
Atlas is also equipped with two stereo cameras to act as eyes for whoever is piloting the robot, and a laser range finder to determine spatiality.
Despite its gear, testing Atlas in a lab and Atlas in the great outdoors is more stressful than it can first seem.
" 'Out in the world' is just a totally different challenge than in the lab," said Mark Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, in a video demonstration. "You can't predict what it's going to be like."
Although the humanoid bot can walk and toddle on its own, it's not necessarily free-standing: the pipedal 'droid is still connected to a large power chord, which engineers at Boston Dynamics hope to soon take out of the equation.
Check out this video featuring some of Boston Dynamics' robots below.