Boston Dynamics has a new video showing off the latest version of Atlas—the badass humanoid robot. And it’s pretty incredible. The most striking thing about this new version is the amazing balance Atlas achieves. I’ve never seen a humanoid robot with this kind of agility.
This version of Atlas can not only walk over rough terrain, but he can squat and pick up boxes. You can even push Atlas violently with a hockey stick and he’ll maintain his balance. And his most incredible accomplishment? He can stand up after falling down.
When I was in Pomona, California for the DARPA Robotics Challenge this past summer one of the most difficult things that all the competing teams faced was simply keeping their robots upright. Remember all those funny gifs or robots awkwardly falling down? They couldn’t pick themselves back up.
Many teams used the Atlas body—with their own software and alterations—and whenever an Atlas version fell over, the team would have to reset and start the robot from the beginning of the course. Not Anymore.