Meet DARPA's Humanoid Robot That Could Someday Save You From A Crumbling Building

A century of sci-fi movie predictions have just been realized in the 6-foot-tall, robust android called Atlas.

Boston Dynamics has been busy working on an entrant for DARPA's Virtual Robotics Challenge, a contest aimed to create robots that can help in disaster situations. Of course, they could also be used by the military...

Now, Boston Dynamics has revealed its entrant: A 6-foot-tall humanoid robot called Atlas.

AtlasImage courtesy of Boston Dynamics

Compared to the bumbling, tottering, and slow humanoid robots that have hit the media before, you may be shocked at how resilient Atlas is. The machine has sophistication that approaches the stuff of science fiction. It can cope with unexpected trip hazards, survive being knocked off balance by a 20-pound weight, and if the tricks of its developmental predecessor, Petman, are anything to go by, it can climb over obstacles and autonomously navigate to a certain degree.

Give it a few years and a robot like Atlas may be pulling survivors from tumbled buildings in post-earthquake scenarios. And possibly terrifying the crap out of enemy soldiers on the battlefield.

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342 Comments

  • Paul__Revere

    If its all the same to you guys, I'd just as soon someone come save me from the crumbling building right now, as opposed to waiting until that contraption is finished

  • observiate

    i'm totally down for some tricked out mecha-warriors already. Hollywood science-fiction fantasy has tortured me with non-existent technologies long enough! dude i gotta stock up an electro-magnetic pulse grenades for the coming human-robot civil war

  • observiate

    i feel so ridiculously uneducated and ignorant when i try to think about all the crazy awesome science and engineering that goes into this stuff....even though i have a degree in finance and had a relatively decent gpa at university. well, it ain't injanurrin' degree that's for sure.

  • CountMahdrof

    Already obsolete militarily - a humanoid robot is useless against the new wave of nano-weaponry. Still may have civilian uses, though, although it will be the nanos that are used to locate survivors,

  • banger377

    No one should ever worry about terminator type robots. See the power cord? All the the bad guy robots in the movies depend on some type of nuclear power pack. There is no such thing and probably never will be.
     

  • Bill Lucas

    GORT will vaporize all these machines! It is the destroyer of worlds that are a threat to others in the Milky Way Galaxy!

  • steve bichler

    I don't see any claims that its bullet proof. And being hit by a twenty pound weight? Sounds like a good hit with a baseball bat puts it out of commission.
     

  • Franklin Shinley

    Has anybody noticed that this toy will not run on two AA batteries? Without an indpendent and massive power supply...who are they kidding?

  • Jeff

    bostondynamics.com

    these robots will be hunting down humans to kill them... these are robotic killing machines being designed and mfg by more evil humans...  no wonder God killed everyone on the planet at the time of the flood.   he should have redesigned HIS creation.

  • MarcusOhreallyUS

    The author forgot kicking in peoples doors, and annihilating protesters. If these things are made autonimous (as well as drones), we'll have a "Rise of the Machines" scenario.   

  • Biffy Dakraker

    Can they make about 10 million of them, give them "Zimmerman" programming and let them loose to clear out the remaining savages?

  • FascistNation

    It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are rescued from that crumbling building . . . sucker. 

  • Bob

    This is crap we see in movies.  I don't believe we'll ever see anything like this EVER.  If you think about the level of production this would take to produce in mass, it would blow your mind.
    It still takes 10 people to produce a tire for a military vehicle.
    How long does it take to produce a strategic warhead?
    This will ALWAYS be science FICTION.
    Good luck to the kids that can make a few of these things every 10 years.  They are gifted individuals, but they aren't going anywhere with this exercise in futility (practice for maintenance on the conveyor belt).  ROFL

  • Bob

    The ONLY problem is you'll need HUMANS to build them.  Take a look at Henry Ford's cost today.  LOL  Good luck with that.

  • Will

    they should add a 2ft penis to this thing and put them on the border..... then we can start fucking these illegals instead of the other way around. To bad the govt will most likely only secure other countries with these instead of our own.