Shock video exhibits Atlas robotic coaching for automotive work

It is a shock video as a result of Atlas is unboxing and racking shocks – sorry about that. However it’s additionally a shock as a result of Atlas has all the time been a humanoid robotics analysis platform, not a industrial product – and this new video has us questioning.

The work of constructing vehicles is ideal for robotic automation – massive volumes, heavy elements, excessive potential for human harm, excessive precision and reliability necessities – and certainly, there are already a ton of job-specific robots concerned within the manufacturing and meeting traces.

However there are additionally nonetheless a variety of jobs that look way more random and disorganized – and that is the place humanoid robots search to step in. Clearly, that’ll be one of many early functions for Tesla’s Optimus robotic, and we have seen lately that Determine is pursuing an analogous path with BMW.

We did not anticipate to see Atlas rolling up its sleeves on this type of work, and but right here we’re.

We have seen Atlas flirting with growing its worksite chops earlier than as a building-site dogsbody, throwing toolbags round and the like, however Boston Dynamics has in any other case left the real-world work conditions to its extra commercially targeted non-humanoids: Spot the robotic canine, and the weird rolling, balancing Stretch robotic.

However the type of work it is doing within the video above – which we anticipate it is doing autonomously, though we will not but affirm – matches in very properly with the “choose issues up, transfer them round” early industrial use case that corporations like Determine consider will result in multi-billion greenback income streams.

Ever since Korean auto large Hyundai purchased Boston Dynamics in 2020, we have questioned whether or not Atlas could be headed in a extra industrial path. It is clearly probably the most superior humanoid robotic ever constructed as issues stand. Its electrically powered, hydraulically-actuated joints give it the unmatched explosive energy that makes it such a gymnastic athlete, and in addition to dealing with a broad vary of chaotic and shifting terrains, it is also developed a sure form of grace to its motion that makes Optimus and the opposite newcomers appear like they’re strolling round with full diapers.

Contained in the Lab: Taking Atlas From Sim to Scaffold

This new video actually provides gas to that fireplace. However for all of the issues Atlas is, there’s one which it actually is not. It isn’t designed for streamlined mass manufacturing as a industrial product. It is a unprecedented testbed and has led the world for greater than a decade, but when Boston is admittedly going to get critical about placing humanoids to work at scale, we would anticipate to see one other design altogether – and doubtless one which’s not almost as athletic.

Supply: Boston Dynamics

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