The most recent Atlas humanoid robot demo was just released by Boston Dynamics. The robot’s feet allowed it to traverse rough terrain while running and jumping. Now, the robot actually has hands. The robot is given new life by these simple grippers. The Atlas suddenly transforms from a quick pack mule to something more akin to a human with the ability to pick up and drop off anything it can grab on its own.
One fixed finger and one moving finger make up the claw-like gripper. The grippers, according to Boston Dynamics, were first shown off in a Super Bowl commercial in which Atlas was seen holding a keg above its head.
The grippers are seen picking up a nylon tool bag and construction lumber in the videos that were released today. The Atlas then grabs a 2×8 and positions it between two boxes to create a bridge. The Atlas then grabs a tool bag and sprints across the bridge and through the scaffolding. However, the tool bag must travel to the second story of the building. The Atlas appears to have realized this and quickly threw the tool bag a fair distance. Atlas’ final move, an inverted 540-degree, multi-axis flip, adds asymmetry to the robot’s movement, making it a much more challenging skill than previously performed parkour, according to Boston Dynamics.
Atlas by Boston Dynamic is a research platform; it cannot be purchased. It has long been a prominent figure in numerous popular videos and has successfully illustrated Boston Dynamic’s robotic capabilities. Few rivals in the niche field of humanoid robotics have demonstrated abilities comparable to those of the Atlas. Only NASA’s Robonaut provides grippers that resemble hands.