Boston Dynamics’ Atlas machines strive to be the robotic world’s humans regarding physical capabilities. We’ve already seen them do parkour and gymnastics, and the latest upgrades have added even more human-like features.
The new Atlas, star of a Boston Dynamics video released Wednesday, has grippers and a sense of showmanship. The video shows a scene of a worker who has forgotten his tools on a high platform, and calls for Atlas to fetch his tool bag. The robot then builds a bridge, grabs the bag, hops to a higher spot and throws the bag to its boss. It then performs a gymnastics-style dismount.
The video demonstrates the robot’s ability to perceive and manipulate items and its pincher-style hand grippers. A behind-the-scenes video provides more details on the robot’s capabilities.
Atlas has come a long way since a CNET writer commented on an early version of the robot being “terrible at karate” less than a decade ago. Boston Dynamics uses Atlas as a test bed to try out new technologies and robotic capabilities.
Another humanoid robot, the AI-focused Tesla Optimus robot, is also being developed. It is in an earlier stage of development, so don’t expect any Atlas-Optimus face-offs in the near future. Both machines show how humanity is working towards the sci-fi dream of robots made in our own image.