Boston Dynamics has released a new video of its Atlas robot, in which it is tossing boards and tool bags on a fake construction site.
In the second clip, Scott Kuindersma, head of the Boston Dynamics team working on Atlas, explained that the video is “meant to communicate an expansion of the research we’re doing on Atlas.” As always, it’s important to note that these videos are carefully planned and structured, and falls and mistakes are edited out. But as Kuindersma points out, it’s still an important milestone for Atlas.
“We’re not just thinking about how to make the robot move dynamically through its environment, as we did in Parkour and Dance,” says Kuindersma. Now, we’re starting to put Atlas to work and think about how the robot should be able to perceive and manipulate objects in its environment.”
It’s a marked shift in public statements from the Hyundai-owned company, which has previously never emphasized how its two-legged machines could be used in the workplace. Boston Dynamics has only two robots it sells: Stretch and Spot.
Stretch is a wheeled machine with a huge arm designed to move boxes in warehouses, while Spot is a four-legged robot primarily used for surveillance and inspection tasks, acting as a remote CCTV camera or mapping construction sites and factories using 3D scanners.