Last week, Boston Dynamics released a video showing its Atlas humanoid robot showing off its new job skills. However, its creators admit that the robot still needs a lot of improvement before it can function like a human in a busy and demanding environment, such as a construction site. To prove it, they themselves have created a new and interesting cinematographic video, where we see how the robot fails miserably in certain tasks.
The viola was an engineering marvel. Her enormous range of motion, balance, and the way she adapts to her surroundings in flight is astounding, light years ahead of the capabilities of similar humanoid robots like Tesla’s Optimus. But the big news in the video is that you can now grab and manipulate objects, which its creators say requires a finer understanding of your surroundings than cartwheeling or dancing. All this is possible thanks to its 28 hydraulic connections, sensors such as lidar, stereo cameras and its IMU (inertial measurement unit) that helps it navigate, measure speed or gravity.
However, Boston Dynamics says it has a “long way to go” before it can create humanoid robots capable of these complex and dangerous tasks, such as working on real construction sites outside of the controlled environment of a laboratory. Although they believe that this demonstration can allow the public to understand the future direction of robotics.
Scott Kuindersma, who leads the Atlas team at Boston Dynamics, believes they still need to build the underlying technology that will allow them to easily create and adapt the dynamic behavior seen in video to physically demanding real-world environments. “It takes a lot to give a complete solution in areas like industry or construction, this video shows a small part of what we do”, he said.