Google acquired Boston Dynamics back in December 2013, which following the name change, now makes Boston Dynamics a subsidiary of Alphabet Co. This of course means a lot more money for their already amazing robotic research (and more importantly, robots!), which in turn lead to this latest iteration of their humanoid Atlas robot.
The new version of Atlas, originally a high mobility, bipedal humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain, has just been unveiled, this time designed to operate both outdoors and inside buildings.
It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated, using sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain and help with navigation. This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.
The robot itself is an absolutely amazing feat of engineering and software programming. It can open doors, trudge through snow, as well as track, bend and pick up objects (and then safely place them down again). Atlas can also right itself if it is hit (say, by an angry man with a hockey stick for example), and most amazing of all, is able to stand up by itself if it falls over (a particularly difficult feat in robotics).
In fact, watching Atlas in action is more than just a little creepy:
Related Link: Boston Dynamics