February 24, 2016

Google’s Atlas, a Major Breakthrough in Advanced Robotics!

The Boston Dynamics robot fleet! Photo courtesy of IEEE Spectrum.
By Nick K. 

We have previously talked about some lesser known projects that Google and Alphabet are currently working on. One of these projects that stuck out from the rest was the Boston Dynamics projects, which involve the production of advanced robotics. Sure, both Google and Alphabet are working on some revolutionary projects like Project SkyBender, Project Tango, Project Loon, the list goes on. Yet, Boston Dynamics has made an incredible breakthrough with their famous project called Atlas.

Project Atlas official name is “The Agile Anthropomorphic Robot.” This robot is highly mobile and can navigate rugged terrain, and is built similar to a human. It has hands, arms, two legs, and a head fitted with cameras to “see” where it is going.

What makes Atlas special is its ability to not only navigate any kind of terrain, but also can walk on its own, bend over, pick up objects, and push open doors. It even has the ability to lift itself up if it falls down. Good luck trying to make this 180 lb., 5’9” robot fall over, though. The employees at Boston Dynamics demonstrated Atlas in action which can be seen here, courtesy of MarketWatch.  

After watching Atlas in action, it’s impressive how far robotics have come. There have been so many movies created where the world was either ruled by robots or they have been integrated as a part of society, and now at least part of that scenario is slowly becoming a modern reality.

In a way, it is very exciting and yet scary to think of how close Atlas mimics humans. The fact that Atlas is able to travel across a snowy hillside without stumbling or slipping and falling is remarkable. Who knows what actions Atlas will be programmed to do next, maybe have the ability to pull and throw objects?

Atlas is a perfect example of why Google acquired Boston Dynamics a few years ago. Atlas is just one of the many advanced robots that Boston Dynamics has created for its fleet of robots. As research and enhancements continue for Boston Dynamics, who honestly knows what next exciting breakthrough will be for them in advancing robots.

How do you feel about the next generation of Project Atlas? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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