Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot can now chase you through the woods
Every few months, Boston Dynamics reveals a new video illustrating yet another impressive ability from its quickly evolving line of robots. The latest duo of clips are no exception, this time showing its Atlas robot taking a casual jog in the woods, while SpotMini is shown autonomously taking a long exploratory mission around an office building.
The first video highlights the humanoid Atlas robot, and its ability to navigate dynamic outdoor terrain. The speedy evolution of Atlas over the past few years has been both impressive and unnerving. It was only a few short years ago that the company revealed its first untethered iteration of the robot, precariously learning how to balance and traverse tricky terrain.
But last year things really kicked up a notch with a video revealing the robot's newfound ability to swiftly nail a complete backflip. Now we can watch Atlas take a casual jog through the woods, demonstrating its ability to maintain balance while running and navigating rolling outdoor terrain.
The second video offers a new look at the dog-like SpotMini, the robot that recently turned into nightmare fuel after an episode of the anthology series Black Mirror recruited the design to inspire the story of killer robots in a dystopian future. After Boston Dynamics earlier this year revealed SpotMini's latest talent is an ability to open doors, this newest video illustrates the robot's autonomous capabilities.
A six-minute walk through an office and lab facility is chronicled in the video, and Boston Dynamics reports that before this recorded autonomous run, the robot was guided along the route manually by a human so a map of the space could be constructed. The video highlights SpotMini's obstacle avoidance systems and navigation map as it moves through the space, so its not entirely clear how much autonomy the robot has regarding its overall route, but it can clearly dynamically respond to obstacles in the space.
As with other subdued Boston Dynamics video reveals, not much more detail is offered outside of the actual footage. The company was acquired by Japanese company SoftBank from Google parent company Alphabet for an undisclosed sum in 2017.
Source: Boston Dynamics