DARPA-Funded Humanoid Runs Through the Woods


Check out this crazy video of a Pentagon-funded humanoid running through the woods.

The 6-foot 2-inch, 330-pound Atlas robot is the brainchild of Google Inc. subsidiary Boston Dynamics, which has received contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon's research arm, to develop the technology for potential use in disaster relief and other tasks.

Powered by an off-board, electric power supply via a flexible tether, the robot features 28 hydraulically actuated degrees of freedom, two hands, arms, legs, feet and a torso, as well as a sensor head that includes stereo cameras and a laser range finder, according to the Boston Dynamics website.

"Atlas can walk bipedally leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment," it states. "In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces. Articulated, sensate hands will enable Atlas to use tools designed for human use."

Engineers are now interested in getting Atlas "out into the world" -- like the woods outside the Boston Dynamics' headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, according to company founder Marc Raibert.

"We're interested in getting this robot out into the world," he said in a YouTube video published Aug. 15. "Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than the lab. You can't predict what it's going to be like."

He added, "This isn't completely out in the world because there's that power tether. But we're working on a version that doesn't have that. And all kinds of stuff happens out here. We're making pretty good progress on making it so it has mobility that is 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."


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