by Brooks Hays
Boston (UPI) Nov 11, 2014
When Boston Dynamics first unveiled its ATLAS robot in July of 2013, tech experts were impressed with its human-like legs and frame, but its movements were still thoroughly robotic -- awkward and clunky.
Over the last year, engineers at Google-owned Boston Dynamics have been working with scientists at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition to improve ATLAS's programming. That work has paid off, as ATLAS's gait and movements have been smoothed out and streamlined.
Now with the software to match its impressive hardware, ATLAS is not only walking more like a human, it's also balancing on one leg and performing crane kicks, like a robotic ninja. Researchers say the 330-pound robot could eventually help rescue people from disaster sites that humans can't safely access.
Next summer, ATLAS will resume competition activities in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The robot already placed first and second, respectively, in the first two phases of the competition, held in 2013. The contest from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency calls for semi-autonomous ground robots that can do "complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments." The winner gets $2 million.
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|