Monday, 7 March 2016

Watch Google’s Latest Robot Deftly Deal with Snowy Trail


Atlas – Upgraded Version of Humanoid – Designed to Operate Outdoor/Indoors


The robotics company, Boston Dynamics which Google had attained in its mad robotics spree about two years back seems to be good in making robots which can handle surprise or take a beating. Atlas, an upgraded version of its humanoid is designed to operate outdoors as well as indoors and is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically activated.

It tends to use sensors in balancing its body and legs together with LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head in order to avoid obstacles, consider the territory, manipulate objects and help with the navigation. It is a five-foot-nine, 180-pound human which tends to walk upright, can pick things up and possibly produce some gasps of awe and concern.

Several of the robots are pretty good at repetitive task though tend to fail when something goes twisted. Atlas had been designed to deal with moderating conditions. One can watch it wander through the snow, maintaining its balance prior to falling. While indoors, a handler knocks a box out of its hands and Atlas tends to move over in order to pick it up. If another human throws it down with a stick, Atlas tends to push itself up.

Humanoid’s New Capability – Endure Abuse


However, what is most appealing is that the humanoid’s new capability is to endure abuse. For instance, when pushed from behind, the robot is capable in determining how to move back on its feet, which has been addressed as `impressive’ by MIT Technology review.

The capability of Atlas to recover swiftly from spills is owing to advances in its software as well as hardware with computer systems which tend to permit it to rapidly respond to unexpected situations as well as durable materials which permit swift movement.

One of the oldest firms among Google’s hodgepodge robotic groups, Boston Dynamics, mainly tends to work with the military though it has not reported of any important business deals from the time they joined Google. After a year of fairly rudderless track Google is said to have put the entire robotics group in Google X, in December, which is its hardware research incubator. The subsequent month X had revealed that it had hired Hans Peter Brondmo, to lead the unit, a tech veteran who had recently come from Nokia.

Atlas Can Function on Its Own


Though it may seem a bit odd, researchers have been putting their humanoid robot through some sequences of test which could aid it in dealing with moderating situations, something which robots do not seem to be good at. Founder and president of Boston Dynamics, Marc Raibert communicated to IEEE Spectrum that Atlas can function on its own with minimum input from its operators.

 He had mentioned that their long term goal was to make robots which have mobility, perception and dexterity together with intelligence similar to humans and animals or possibly beyond them and this robot is a step along the way. Robots seem too good at repetitive tasks though if the changes take place in even small variables within the analysis environment or in the task itself, the robot often seems to be incapable of figuring out what happened or how to handle it. This analysis seems to make Atlas better in dealing with problems when something tends to go awkward.

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