Boston Dynamics' ATLAS Robot Takes a Walk in the Woods

Posted on August 17, 2015

Google owned Boston Dynamics has let its humanoid ATLAS robot out for a walk in the woods for the first time. The robot can be seen stumbling around in the woods in a newly released video. It travels at a much quicker pace when it gets on the path going through the woods.

The goal of robots like this is that they could help in rescue operations where it would be too dangerous for humans to be, such as a damaged nuclear reactor or partially collapsed structure. The outdoor robot test begins around the 40 second mark in the clip below.

Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, explains in the clip that the outdoors is a "totally different challenge than in the lab." He says they are working on getting mobility for the robot that is "in shooting range" of a human.

The robot still has a tether attached to it. This makes it look they are afraid the robot will get away. It is actually a power tether that the robot still needs to function. One day ATLAS will likely roam free without the tether. Take a look:

IEEE has some details here about what Boston Dynamics is working on next. This includes new legs for ATLAS that have all the hydraulic components printed directly into the structure of the leg as well as bone-like materials and arterial fluid routing.

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