February 24, 2016

Humanoid robot has very good balance, smooth motion and seems close to handling warehouse type work

A new version of humanoid Boston Dynamics (Google - Alphabet company) Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5' 9" tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

In its last iteration, Atlas was tethered to an external power source. This version is battery powered, sleeker, quieter, and much more agile.

It navigates using Lidar and stereo sensors in its head. Sensors in its limbs keep it from tipping over. All that gadgetry lets it navigate snowy terrain, pick up boxes, and stand up after being shoved to the floor. Some of those sensors even appear to recognize QR-like codes on boxes and doors.

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