Atlas and WildCat: Boston Dynamics displays new generation of robots
Boston Dynamics, a US robotics company part-funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has presented its latest creations: Atlas and WildCat.
Atlas is a humanoid robot capable of crossing rough terrain and maintaining its balance on one leg even when hit from the side.
WildCat is the four-legged robot that can gallop untethered at up to 16 mph.
The robots are part of DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation programme.
DARPA says such robots “hold great promise for amplifying human effectiveness in defense operations”.
This version of Atlas is one of seven humanoid robots Boston Dynamics is developing in response to the DARPA Robotics Challenge.
In December, competing robots will be set eight tasks to test their potential for use in emergency-response situations, including crossing uneven ground, using power tools and driving a rescue vehicle.
DARPA wants to improve the manoeuvrability and controllability of such robots while reducing manufacturing costs.
WildCat can bound, gallop and turn, mimicking the movements of quadruped animals. It is powered by an internal combustion engine.
Last year, Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah robot reached a sprint speed of 28.3 mph tethered to a treadmill.