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Home Robotics: Technology, News & Trends Boston Dynamics Unveils New Electric Atlas Robot

Boston Dynamics Unveils New Electric Atlas Robot

Atlas robot

According to the latest reports, Boston Dynamics unveiled its newly developed all-electric Atlas robot on 17 April, one day after announcing the retirement of its hydraulic Atlas robot. In a 39-second video posted on YouTube, the robotics company said it was time for Atlas to “relax” after its retirement and let the new all-electric Atlas take over.

Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics has been in the top tier of the robotics industry. Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert (Mark. The founder of Boston Dynamics, Marc Raibert, is known in the industry as the “Father of the Robot Dog”. Since then, it has been sold several times and is now owned by Hyundai Motor Group, but its technical strength is still the industry benchmark.

The new Atlas shows a high degree of agility in the video: in the video, the new version of Atlas lies on the ground, then changes the rotation of the joints of its legs, and finally leaps up in an almost gymnast-like position.

Similar to bipedal robots like Tesla’s Optimus, the new Atlas has longer limbs, a straighter back, and a unique “head” that can rotate as needed. There are no cables in sight, and its “face” includes a built-in ring light. It is a significant improvement over its predecessor and now features a range of new artificial intelligence and machine learning tools from Boston Dynamics.

Boston Dynamics said it hoped the new version would demonstrate that Atlas could maintain its human form without being constrained by “the way bipedal robots move”. The new version has been redesigned with a swivel joint, which the company claims gives it a “unique ability to handle dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks”.

Robot rendering

We designed the motorized version of Atlas to be more powerful, more dexterous, and more agile, the company said. Atlas may have a human-like shape, but we’re enabling the robot to move in the most efficient way possible to fulfill its mission, without the limitations of a human’s range of motion. Atlas will move in a way that exceeds human capabilities, the company said.

The company also said it will continue to build on the capabilities already implemented in the previous generation of hydraulic Atlas models, such as lifting and manipulating objects, while exploring “several new gripper variants” to prepare the robot for a range of different industry environments.

Chief executive officer Robert Platt has been working with the company since its inception. Robert Playter, CEO, said the new Atlas is more agile than a human, or even an elite athlete, in most joints, and will have a range of motion that exceeds anything a person can do. The outdated hydraulics of the old Atlas have been ditched and replaced with electric actuators.

Furthermore, Platt revealed that the project is still in its early stages. Their current plan is to begin pilot testing of the electric Atlas at Hyundai’s facilities in early 2025. The new Atlas will be tested with a small group of customers over the next few years, including Hyundai. Other humanoid robots from their rival suppliers (such as Figure and Apptronik) have been tested on the production lines of BMW and Mercedes, respectively.

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