Tag Archives: boston dynamics

Boston Dynamics shows off its latest snow-walking Atlas Robot Tech News 24 FEB 2016

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.

atlas robot stepping forward from boston dynamics robot line

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:

Astounding.

Related Link: Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamic’s Spot: A Robot that You can’t Kick Over Hardware | Tech News 14 FEB 2015

Boston Dynamics (whom I’ve highlighted before) is an engineering and robotics design company that is best known for the development of BigDog, a quadruped robot designed for the U.S. military with funding from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and DI-Guy, software for realistic human simulation.

Early in the company’s history, it worked with the American Systems Corporation under a contract from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) to replace naval training videos for aircraft launch operations with interactive 3D computer simulations featuring DI-Guy characters.

National Academy of Engineering member Marc Raibert is the company’s president and project manager. He spun the company off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992, in order to continue their work in developing robots that run and maneuver like animals.

On 13 December 2013, the company was acquired by Google.

google boston dynamics spot running robot

Well now Google and Boston Dynamics have a new metal friend in the mix.

On the 9th of February they unveiled Spot, a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered (in other words can operate in both inside and outside conditions), hydraulically actuated, and has a sensor head (Lidar by the look of it) that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. It also weighs about 72 kg, more than 30 kg lighter than BigDog. (In other words, it is smaller, more agile and faster than its big brother).

The robot, can walk, trot and climb across all types of terrain, and can even survive attempts to destabilize it by unfeeling humans eager with their kicks. (Which is a bad thing because we probably shouldn’t be antagonizing these things!)

Right. So here’s Spot’s unveiling video:

SkyNet will be well pleased with this latest addition…

Related Link: http://www.bostondynamics.com/

The Robots of Boston Dynamics Hardware | Military 08 OCT 2013

If the Terminator timeline Skynet evolves from anything already here, then chances are pretty damn good that it is simply a rename of current robotics company Boston Dynamics. Famed for their animal-like robotics funded by DARPA and intended for use by the American military, the things that Boston Dynamics creates is enough to put the fear of robots in any sane human being!

The latest release is the WildCat, the sequel to 2012’s fast running Cheetah robot, and seeing it in action is pretty terrifying – at the moment it’s only travelling at about 25 km/h, though if you remember correctly, it’s daddy set the world robotic speed record by running at nearly double that!

It gallops, it bounds and despite the Americans telling you that it would be great for “emergency response, firefighting, advanced agriculture and vehicular travel”, just imagine this thing kitted out with some scythe blades or a laser or two, busy chasing you down!

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