BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — On Tuesday, Boston Dynamics published a video of one of their humanoid robots dashing, climbing, and practicing parkour to make a delivery up above.
According to BD, the video showcases the robot Atlas' ability to manipulate or interact with its environment, and its high capacity limits for locomotive, sensing, and athletics functions.
The team followed up the display with a behind-the-scenes feature, explaining the efforts behind Atlas' dexterity and movements.
One of the goals of the project was to get Atlas to mimic real human speeds while completing a number of tasks. In the showcase video, Atlas uses sensors to detect its environment and sends signals to anticipate how much force it will need to generate in the next couple of seconds.
Atlas' task of delivering a toolbox up a multi-story scaffolding involves scaling stairs, pushing over wooden planks and boxes, jumps, and some flips for style points.
On the organization's blog, Atlas Controls Lead Ben Stephens said the video marks the next step in the robot's evolution.
“We’re layering on new capabilities. Parkour and dancing were interesting examples of pretty extreme locomotion, and now we’re trying to build upon that research to also do meaningful manipulation. It’s important to us that the robot can perform these tasks with a certain amount of human speed. People are very good at these tasks, so that has required some pretty big upgrades to the control software,” Stephens said.