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Boston Dynamics unveils its first fully electric humanoid robot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Electric robots are smoother and quieter, and also more reliable, than their older cousins and this is a major upgrade by Boston Dynamics.

 

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Boston Dynamics, the makers of Atlas, the parkour jumping humanoid robot, and Spot the robot dog, has unveiled a stronger, more agile, fully electric version of its Atlas humanoid robot which is already slated to enter use on Hyundai’s automotive production line.

 

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It was just this week that Boston Dynamics announced it was bidding adieu to the original Atlas robot, which moved its limbs via a series of hydraulic actuators. As companies like Unitree have recently shown us, electric joint motors are considerably lighter and more compact than hydraulics, plus they’re not subject to leakage.

 

See it in action

 

That’s where the just-announced all-electric version of Atlas comes in.

Although we’re still waiting to hear back about its full specifications, Boston Dynamics states that it’s stronger, nimbler and more dextrous than the hydraulic Atlas. It’s also designed to move in whatever manner is most efficient for performing a given task, as opposed to limiting itself to the natural human range of motion.

 

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The company states, “Atlas will move in ways that exceed human capabilities.”

What’s more, a number of new interchangeable grippers will be created for the robot, tailored toward clients’ needs. One of the first of those clients will be Hyundai, which will be testing the robot on its automotive production lines over the next few years.

There’s currently no word on when the new Atlas will enter wider commercial use. In the meantime, check out this rather freaky video of the robot showing off its electric dexterity.

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