We already know that Atlas can dance, move, and do parkour, but seeing him perform tasks on a construction site – or something set up as a construction site – shows us how the deploy a bipedal robot usefully one day in the workplace.
In the latest video released by the robot wizards at Boston Dynamics, Atlas is shown helping a human construction worker in the most impressive way.
“It’s time for Atlas to pick up new skills and put their hands on them,” Boston Dynamics says in a message accompanying the video. “The humanoid robot manipulates the world around it: Atlas interacts with objects and modifies the course to reach its goal – pushing the limits of movement, perception and athleticism.”
While working on top of some scaffolding, the construction worker realizes that he has forgotten his tool bag. He grabbed a mobile device to send an order to Atlas, who is on the ground, to get him the bag.
Atlas springs into action, first using a wooden plank to create a bridge so the worker can reach. He then grabs the bag using his new gripper hands, skips up a few steps, jumps onto a platform, and then throws the bag up to the next level to the waiting worker.
Finally, Atlas sends a large box to the ground to create another route away from the scaffolding. He then steps into the box and does a great albeit unnecessary flip with a bunch of spins, before landing clean on the ground.
Atlas’s movements are remarkable, becoming more and more human-like. It looks very stable and nimble on its feet, and with further development it could be used for different tasks on a real construction site.
In an accompanying video called Inside the Labthe engineers behind Atlas show how they are now indeed focusing on developing additional skills for the robot to make it more useful.
“Now we are starting to put Atlas to work, and thinking about how the robot should be able to perceive and manipulate objects in its environment while maintaining that high level of specific performance that we expect from Atlas ,” said team director Scott Kuindersma.
Ultimately, real-world applications for Atlas could include moving heavy objects to eliminate the risk of injury to people, or working in environments deemed too dangerous or unpleasant for regular workers .
You can check out the video below: