Boston Dynamics Unveils New Atlas: Stronger, More Agile Humanoid Robot

Key Takeaways:
  • The new electric Atlas robot by Boston Dynamics features swiveling joints and enhanced mobility, designed to perform complex tasks that exceed human capabilities.
  • The updated Atlas has a more humanoid appearance with advanced AI and machine learning tools, making it suitable for a variety of industrial applications.
  • Boston Dynamics plans to collaborate with select customers like Hyundai to test the new Atlas, setting the stage for broader future deployments across different industries.

Boston Dynamics has announced the retirement of its hydraulic Atlas robot and the introduction of a new, all-electric version. This next-generation Atlas is engineered to demonstrate an unprecedented range of movement for humanoid robots.

The company’s objective with the new design is to showcase Atlas’s ability to maintain a humanoid form without being restricted by the conventional limitations of bipedal movement. According to Boston Dynamics, the innovative swiveling joints embedded in the new model enable the robot to perform tasks typically deemed dull, dirty, or dangerous with exceptional adeptness.

In a recent press release, Boston Dynamics elaborated on the capabilities of the revamped Atlas: “We designed the electric version of Atlas to be stronger, more dexterous, and more agile.” The company further explained that while Atlas retains a human-like shape, the robot is optimized to move in the most efficient manner possible to accomplish tasks, often exceeding human physical abilities.

The unveiling of the new Atlas was accompanied by a teaser video that captured the robot’s enhanced functionalities in a dramatic and visually striking manner. The footage begins with Atlas lying on the ground, folding its legs over its body, and then swiftly rising to a standing position — a movement reminiscent of scenes from science fiction and horror films. Despite its somewhat eerie capabilities, the robot’s design incorporates elements like a curved, illuminated head that adds a distinctive, albeit robotic, charm.

Boston Dynamics AtlasHumanoid Robot
Boston Dynamics AtlasHumanoid Robot

This latest version of Atlas shows a closer resemblance to other bipedal robots, such as Tesla’s Optimus, featuring longer limbs and a more upright posture. Its head, capable of swiveling, and a face equipped with a built-in ring light, marks a significant design evolution from its predecessor. Moreover, this new Atlas integrates advanced AI and machine learning tools, enhancing its performance.

Boston Dynamics has also continued to build upon the established capabilities of the previous hydraulic Atlas model. The new robot can lift and maneuver objects with greater ease and features several new gripper variations to adapt to different industrial environments.

The company has announced plans to test the new Atlas with a select group of customers over the coming years. This initiative will begin with Hyundai, highlighting the growing interest in deploying humanoid robots across various sectors. Competing humanoid robots are also undergoing tests, such as those from Figure and Apptronik, which are being used on production lines for automotive giants BMW and Mercedes.

Amaya Simon
Amaya Simon
Amaya Simon is a seasoned programmer specializing in smart devices, AI, and machine learning. With a Master's in Computer Science and a decade of experience, she writes to demystify complex tech. Outside work, she's a robot-building, origami-loving mom.


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