Atlas humanoid robot standing on his own


Boston Dynamics likes to show off… which is good because we like to see the scary looking robots they come up with. This is Atlas, it’s the culmination of their humanoid robotics research. As part of the unveiling video they include a development process montage which is quite enjoyable to view.

You should remember the feature in October which showed the Robot Ninja Warrior doing the Spider Climb. That was the prototype for Atlas. It was impressive then, but has come a long way since. Atlas is the object of affection for the Darpa Robotics Challenge which seeks to drop a humanoid robot into an environment designed for people and have it perform a gauntlet of tasks. Research teams participating in the challenge are tasked with teaching Atlas how to succeed. Development will happen on a virtual representation of the robot, but to win the challenge you have to succeed with the real deal at the end of the year.

[Thanks Ferdinand via Endandit]


  1. Z00111111 says:

    That really is a terrifying robot!

  2. Galane says:

    Looks ready for the role of Hector in the remake of “Saturn 3″.

  3. ferdinand says:

    i find it scary robots like this in this speed we have real terminators or cylon,s.
    how far are we go gif it a gun and use it in war to hunt.

  4. JerZ says:

    I’m more interested in the power supply they must be developing behind closed doors.

    • stithyoshi says:

      Pretty sure it has a power tether.

      • Fred says:

        stithyoshi, please read and re-read what JerZ typed until you get it.

        Then, realize you are an idiot.

        • stithyoshi says:

          I am under the impression that he’s referring to the unit requiring some form of mobile power source, and intended to express that, to my knowledge, their units rely on tethers for communication and power supply. At the very least, the linked page mentions that the tether carries networking which, to me, implies that, whether or not it is in fact supplying power, this unit does indeed have a tether. And that fact, though it does not remove the possibility of the unit possessing an autonomous power supply, simply allows for the possibility that the power is derived from a more or less generic municipal-type system.

          I’m sorry if I missing something and, if so, would very much appreciate you or someone else kindly curing my ignorance, but is name-calling really necessary?

          • Sweeney says:

            You’ve still not got it. He wasn’t talking about how it’s currently powered, but rather the research he suspects they are doing to make it stand-alone.

          • Eirinn says:

            Lol it’s you who haven’t gotten it. His point is that it WILL be power tethered rendering any argument about a battery useless. Whether he is right or not is irrelevant for the sake of this argument.

          • stithyoshi says:

            Yeah. I mean, to clear up any confusion I’m just saying that there’s nothing to my knowledge that necessitates their skunkworking a compact mobile supply, though they of course could be doing just about anything.

          • Sweeney says:

            Terminator would have been a short film if Arnie came to the end of his extension cord and fell over due to lack of power.
            It’s a good deal more interesting if they are working out how to run these things without a tether, which is what the original point was.

          • mojojoe says:

            Of course they are researching a mobile power plant, otherwise this would be the pursuit of a known dead end in developing a vehicle in this factor. Research grants can be staggering and aren’t just thrown around.

        • Grichecth says:

          Fred, You’re the sort of person that drives people away from comment boards. There is 0 reason for you to jump at stithyoshi like that.

          • Whatnot says:

            OR could it be you, who accuses people of ‘jumping at’ when they point out a silly mistake, that is the one that ruins discussion boards?

            I know, I know, trying to make you think won’t work.

  5. Smeeg says:

    It needs a big Lexan dome to protect it’s sensors, and accordion tubing for dust exclusion from the joints.
    Robbie may have been a more realistic depiction than we at first thought.

  6. canid says:

    What it really needs is a break and pop n’ lock routine.

  7. John B says:

    Cylons here we come!

  8. Johnbot says:

    I was really hoping for a BattleMech…

  9. Eirinn says:

    Whatever you do… don’t drop the bass. A spectacular display of experimental robot dancing will ensue.

  10. reggie says:

    Can’t do jazz hands without hands!!

  11. All humanoid robots I’ve seen lately remind me of 90’s Discovery channel documentaries. They are for sure a challenge to build, but they all look quite clumsy compared to HONDA ASIMO.

    Call me when they can AT LEAST do this:

    • oodain says:

      clumsy is highly relative,

      asimo is made to be charming, with smooth humanlike motion, it does so very well.
      ATLAS is of an entirely different design, where versatility and range of motion is far more important.

      so it might not look as gracious, but it will be able to reach places and work where asimo never could(not that it is intended to do so, kinda my point)

    • Chris C. says:

      Yup. It’s all a tradeoff between speed, power, and accuracy. Asimo may be graceful, but it can only lift a couple of pounds using both hands. Atlas can probably tote a chaingun, and unlike 90’s robots, can walk on uneven ground without moving at a snail’s pace or toppling. Considering Atlas is a concept robot for troop support, which is more appropriate?

    • Whatnot says:

      Asimo expects a clean smooth environment and can’t lift much, and runs through a number of preprogrammed scripts during demos.

      The boston dynamic ones are able to carry stuff and are expected to traverse a varied terrain and react and adapt to an unknown environment.

  12. Random Man says:

    I was totally thinking skynet the whole time I was watching this. Both amazed and terrifying at the same time.

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