DARPA's ATLAS robot unveiled (w/ Video)

Jul 11, 2013

On Monday, July 8, 2013, the seven teams that progressed from DARPA's Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC) arrived at the headquarters of Boston Dynamics in Waltham, Mass. to meet and learn about their new teammate, the ATLAS robot. Like coaches starting with a novice player, the teams now have until late December 2013 to teach ATLAS the moves it will need to succeed in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials where each robot will have to perform a series of tasks similar to what might be required in a disaster response scenario.

These seven teams are not starting from scratch. Thanks to the physical modeling of the DRC Simulator, the that were successfully employed by teams in the VRC should transfer with minor tuning to the ATLAS hardware. ATLAS is one of the most advanced ever built, but is essentially a physical shell for the software brains and nerves that the teams will continue to develop and refine. That software, and the actions of a human operator through a control unit, will guide the suite of sensors, actuators, joints and limbs that make up the robot. The six-foot-two, 330-pound ATLAS is capable of a range of natural movements and is equipped with:

  • On-board real-time control computer;
  • Hydraulic pump and ;
  • Two arms, two legs, a torso and a head;
  • 28 hydraulically actuated joints;
  • Carnegie Robotics sensor head with LIDAR and stereo sensors; and
  • Two sets of hands, one provided by iRobot and one by Sandia National Labs.

In addition to the robot, the winning teams from the VRC will receive funding from DARPA and ongoing technical support from Boston Dynamics, the developer of ATLAS.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

"The Virtual Robotics Challenge was a proving ground for teams' ability to create software to control a robot in a hypothetical scenario. The DRC Simulator tasks were fairly accurate representations of real world causes and effects, but the experience wasn't quite the same as handling an actual, physical robot," said Gill Pratt, program manager for the DARPA Robotics Challenge. "Now these seven teams will see if their simulation-honed algorithms can run a real machine in real environments. And we expect all teams will be further refining their algorithms, using both simulation and experimentation."


Explore further: Future US Navy: Robotic sub-hunters, deepsea pods

More information: www.theroboticschallenge.org/aboutrobots.aspx

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Developing a robot that can go where humans fear to tread

Oct 25, 2012

It sounds like a science fiction scenario: a nuclear reactor is racing toward meltdown, and someone needs to close a valve to stop cooling water from leaking out of the reactor. Unfortunately, radiation levels ...

Recommended for you

Future US Navy: Robotic sub-hunters, deepsea pods

Mar 28, 2015

The robotic revolution that transformed warfare in the skies will soon extend to the deep sea, with underwater spy "satellites," drone-launching pods on the ocean floor and unmanned ships hunting submarines.

Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks

Mar 27, 2015

Germany-based automation company Festo, focused on technologies for tasks, turns to nature for inspiration, trying to take the cues from how nature performs tasks so efficiently. "Whether it's energy efficiency, ...

Virtual robotization for human limbs

Mar 26, 2015

Recent advances in computer gaming technology allow for an increasingly immersive gaming experience. Gesture input devices, for example, synchronise a player's actions with the character on the screen. Entertainment ...

Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

Mar 25, 2015

Researchers at King's College London have developed revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs, which could enable that firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital ...

Robot revolution will change world of work

Mar 24, 2015

Robots will fundamentally change the shape of the workforce in the next decade but many industries will still need a human touch, a QUT Future of Work Conference has heard.

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (9) Jul 11, 2013
I guess they gave him the exoframe so he would look good in ACUs
Gmr
2.5 / 5 (8) Jul 11, 2013
More likely to give nominal protection to the actuators and hydraulics. At 300 pounds it is a danger to itself in the case of a fall.
Markmj
1 / 5 (2) Jul 12, 2013
Next step in human evolution
gwrede
1 / 5 (4) Jul 13, 2013
Watching the video made me remember the first time I saw the Terminator. The next twenty years will be interesting, no doubt. However, interesting is not a synonym of nice, cool, or desirable.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.