[From: Sebastian Anthony, ExtremeTech > Computing, July 12, 2013]
DARPA and Boston Dynamics, of BigDog, Petman, and Cheetah fame, have unveiled their most advanced humanoid robot yet: Atlas. At 6’2″ (188cm) and 330lbs (150kg), Atlas is incredibly imposing; with 28 hydraulically actuated joints, LIDAR and stereo vision, a beefy on-board computer, and some of the most advanced robotic limbs ever conceived, Atlas is remarkably human-like in its behavior. While Atlas is initially conceived as a disaster response robot, such as cleaning up and looking for survivors after a Fukushima-like disaster, it’s easy to imagine Atlas being the basis of a robotic army, supported by BigDog mules.
As you can see in the photos above and the video…., Atlas is incredibly technologically advanced……With 28 hydraulic joints, Atlas can replicate almost every degree of human motion – or, in the case of the robot hands provided by iRobot and Sandia National Labs, surpass them……”
The accompanying video shows the autonomy and athletic balance inherent in Atlas’ design. It shows Atlas on a treadmill, actively tracking blocks of wood thrown randomly in its path, stepping on and re-balancing itself off the blocks or maneuvering around the articles in its way. Very impressive; even a little bit eerie.