If I encountered this hulking metallic marcher along my favorite jogging trail some fine afternoon, I might be inclined to take up a new activity ... like indoor quilting! Here's a video of Boston Dynamics' ATLAS robot getting some fresh air out in the woods with its handler. Now owned by Google, Boston Dynamics has been on the front lines of advanced robotic technology since 1992, assisted by a healthy dose of developmental military funding from DARPA. Check out ATLAS stomping along a peaceful hiking path and breaking ground in a wooded region, with his handler following behind carrying its hefty power cord. Designed by the cutting-edge engineering think tank and robotics lab in Waltham, Mass., this bipedal, all-terrain, high-mobility machine is equipped with 28 hydraulically actuated degrees of freedom and weighs in at just over 300 pounds.
Until now, trials have been restricted to indoor settings, but this month it was time to take the bulky boy out for a little outdoor stroll. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is seen here in the video showing ATLAS off to an entranced audience at the 11th Fab Lab Conference and Symposium at MIT.
“Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than inside the lab,” Raibert added in his video presentation. “You can’t predict what it’s going to be like. … We’re making pretty good progress in making sure it has mobility that’s sort of within shooting range of yours. I’m not saying it can do everything you can do, but you can imagine if we keep pushing, we’ll get there.”
Have a look at ATLAS enjoying his moment in the summer sunshine, and tell us how fast you could run if he were chasing you once the tetherless version is unleashed into the wild!
(Via Tech Crunch)