Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Equipped with Grippers Can Now Pick Up and Throw Objects in Latest Demo

Boston Dynamics, known for its creepy robot videos, has outdone itself with its latest video featuring its humanoid robot, Atlas. The robot, equipped with new grippers, navigates an obstacle course to fetch a forgotten bag of tools for a worker on a scaffold. The video showcases Atlas’ new manual dexterity, as it uses a wooden plank as a bridge, heaves the bag up to the worker, and performs a flip to dismount. The grippers have just two fingers, one stationary and the other movable, giving Atlas enough dexterity to pick up and place objects.

In the past, Boston Dynamics would not reveal much information about its development process, but now, there’s a 9-minute video that explains everything that went into preparing Atlas for its recent demo. The team is constantly pushing the robot’s hardware to its limits, and new maneuvers, such as the flip dismount and carrying a heavy object, can throw off the robot’s balance.

To overcome this, Boston Dynamics uses a technique called model corrective control, which allows the robot to think about how its motion will affect what comes next, similar to the way the human body works. Atlas is a research platform only and its only commercial product is the four-legged Spot, which costs $74,500.

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