We already know that Atlas can dance, somersault, and do parkour, but seeing him perform tasks at a construction site — or something set up as a construction site — shows us how the two-legged robot could one day be put to good use in the workplace could become.
In the latest video released by the robotic wizards at Boston Dynamics, Atlas is shown helping a human construction worker in a remarkable way.
“It’s time for Atlas to learn new skills and put them into practice,” Boston Dynamics said in a message accompanying the video. “The humanoid robot manipulates the world around it: Atlas interacts with objects and changes course to reach its goal – pushing the boundaries of locomotion, perception and athleticism.”
The construction worker works on top of scaffolding and realizes he forgot his tool bag. He grabs a mobile device to send a command to Atlas, who is on the ground, to get the bag for him.
Atlas takes action by first building a bridge with a wooden plank so it can reach the worker. He then grabs the bag with his new grabbing hands, skips a few steps, jumps onto a platform, and then throws the bag up the next level to the waiting worker.
Finally, Atlas pushes a large crate onto the ground to create an alternate path away from the scaffolding. He then steps onto the box and performs a brilliant, albeit totally unnecessary, flip with a series of spins before landing clean on the floor.
Atlas’ movements are incredibly impressive and increasingly resemble those of a human. It looks incredibly stable and light-footed, and with further development it could serve various roles on a real construction site.
Mentioned in an accompanying video In the laboratorythe engineers behind Atlas reveal how they are now actually focusing on developing more capabilities for the robot to make it more useful.
“Now we’re starting to get Atlas up and running and thinking about how the robot should be able to perceive and manipulate objects in its environment while maintaining the characteristic high level of performance that we’ve come to expect from Atlas,” said Team leader Scott Kuindersma.
Ultimately, real-world applications for Atlas could include moving heavy objects to eliminate the risk of injury to people, or operating in environments deemed too dangerous or highly uncomfortable for ordinary workers.
You can watch the following video: