Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot can now grab and throw objects

Boston Dynamics Atlas robot thwoing toolbox while jumpingBoston dynamics

Boston Dynamics has shown off its Atlas robot once again, and this time it can be seen grabbing, throwing, and backflipping through a simulated construction site.

Boston Dynamics has shown off all manner of robotic creations over the years, and in 2023 we have now been treated to a viewing of what its Atlas robot can do. We have previously seen it jumping over rough surfaces, with impressive accuracy and self-correction technology, so what’s new for this year?

No, they have not given the Boston Dynamics robot a gun. Though it’s very possible that someone could. But, the company has pledged to not use its robotic prow and that’s a terrifying prospect. Last year, we saw Atlas get athletic with impressive dance and parkour moves. Needless to say, it’s a lot more impressive than a new graphics card, or PC.

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Now, according to its creators, Atlas is intended to “Think about the properties of objects” and manipulate them, with a control system that can balance it, and grab objects. It can choose what it’s doing next, through software onboard Atlas which processes data, and allows the robot to run through the construction site and throw a toolbag around, manipulating key objects of interest.

Boston Dynamics also shows off how it works

The company has also shown off exactly what’s going on with the robot while it is moving objects around, boasting something named “predictive control”, which thinks about how hard it needs to grip onto surfaces before manipulating them.

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It all sounds a little bit like sci-fi, but it really isn’t. The robot can calculate forces and exertion in order to calculate things like speed and strength to throw objects, as evidenced in the video. But, this requires a process of trial and error. The robot can break down easily, with all manner of wiring to ensure that all of the sensors and cables are kept in check. But, regardless the robot can regularly break down when attempting new feats.

The new jump that Atlas can perform is to do a multiple-axis jump, which is an advancement on the single-axis jumps that we have seen before. We really cannot wait to see what the company manages to do with the Atlas next.

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