Boston Dynamics' new all-electric robot that could replace humans

For more than a decade, Boston Dynamics has made a name for itself in robotics thanks to Atlas. This is a hydraulic robot which we have seen perform all types of tasks in an increasingly fluid and agile way: from walking on rocky terrain to precisely manipulating a wide variety of objects and even do backflips without losing balance.

But Atlas has during this time been a development platform that was to lead to a product that could be marketed. This will be the new atlas that Boston Dynamics has presented a day after saying goodbye to the old Atlas and closing its development cycle.

Atlas will not be the first robot marketed by Boston Dynamics, but it will be the first humanoid type, unlike the robot dog spot and the loading and unloading platform Stretch. The new Atlas It is fully electric and designed for real world use.l. With it, the company is confident in “not only creating an impressive R&D project, but also offer a valuable solution” that will begin to be tested with “the next generation of automobile factories” that hyundai is building. The South Korean company, owner of Boston Dynamics, will be the first company, among a small group, to test and collaborate in the development of the robot.

The new generation of Atlas offers a much wider range of movements than its predecessor. Employ rotating joints that allow him to maintain his humanoid form without limiting yourself to having to move like a biped and they make it “exceptionally capable of tackling boring, dirty and dangerous tasks,” according to Boston Dynamics on its website. The company considers the humanoid form factor best suited for robots that must work in a world designed for humans.

“We designed the electric version of the Atlas to be stronger, more dexterous and more agile. Atlas may resemble a human form factor, but we are equipping the robot to move as efficiently as possible to complete a task, rather than being limited by a human range of motion. Atlas will move in ways that exceed human capabilities”says the company.

The video published by Boston Dynamics is as spectacular as it is disconcerting. It seems smaller than the hydraulic Atlas and stands out for a much friendlier design to move between humans and the absence of external cables. Start completely lying down and It is incorporated in a disconcerting way, taking advantage of its 360-degree rotating joints., a type of movements that were not possible with the old hydraulic Atlas. After getting up, he walks away and it is not difficult to imagine him carrying out tasks in a factory.

The new Atlas takes advantage of the capabilities developed by the company with the old model and adds some more. Boston Dynamics is exploring “several new variations of tweezers” to prepare the robot for a variety of different industrial environments. “It will be able to perform a series of movements that people cannot. This will have very practical uses“, the CEO of Boston Dynamics told TechCrunch, Robert Playter.