By Kabir Chaudhary
Boston Dynamics, the company which began as a spin-off from MIT, has one of the best technical team of engineers and scientists who are building innovative and advanced robots for more than 3 decades now. Boston Dynamics, which is now a subsidiary of Google, has recently launched a video on YouTube of its new and improved model of Atlas robot.
What is Atlas?
Atlas is a robot which has human-like characteristics and is designed to perform a variety of tasks including assisting in disaster relief operations. Atlas is powered by a lithium battery and has hydraulically operated mechanics which helps it to function.
In the latest video released by Boston Dynamics, you can witness the robot moving from one place to another, walking in a snow-covered forest, lifting boxes and even standing of its own when lying face-down. It’s funny how it moves around, stumbling here and there and rapidly regains balance to continue walking. It looks more like a scene from sci-fi movie rather than a test run of the robot.
Atlas model is referred as the next generation of humanoid robot because of the huge technological leap it has taken which makes it superior to any robot created in its class. It is nicknamed Atlas Unplugged and features several changes like:
- The newer model of Atlas is 5.9 feet tall and weighs only 81 kg compared to its previous version which was 6.2 feet tall and weighed 156 kg
- Improved sensors and cameras to make it more manoeuvrable and behave more like a human
- BD’s engineering team have made use of 3D printing to create its legs which has exponentially cut short manufacturing time and expense, and made it better than before
- Atlas is now shorter, lightweight and more agile
What it means for the humankind
The creation of robots may have been the invention of the century but have you ever imagined a world where there would be no robots at all. I have. It means no Terminator movies (in my case). But on a serious note robots have certainly helped us a lot. Without them it would have not been possible to land on moon or build the spacecraft for that matter. We’d still be riding on horses because it would have taken decades to build a single car, imagine building for a billion people. And yes, we wouldn’t have gotten lazier. And maybe you wouldn’t be reading this. Adios!