Boston Dynamics' Atlas Robot: Watch Incredible Humanoid Walk On Rocks With Ease [VIDEO]

By Josh Lieberman on October 9, 2013 5:33 PM EDT

atlas robot
Boston Dynamics released a new video showing Atlas walk over rocks and keep its balance while being struck by a weight. (Photo: DARPA)

Boston Dynamics has released a new video of its humanoid robot Atlas walking over a pile of rubble with impressive dexterity. The bipedal robot is designed to manipulate difficult terrain while lifting and carrying objects. It is also capable of climbing. Let's hope this thing isn't used for evil.

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In the new Atlas video (below), the humanoid robot walks over rocks, something no two-footed Boston Dynamics robot has done before. (The four-legged LS3 has managed this feat.) Atlas can even balance itself while being assaulted by a 20-pound weight.

Atlas is headless in this video, but the robot does normally have a head with stereo cameras and lasers to help it measure distance. Other nifty features of the 6-foot, 330-pound robot include four-fingered hands with opposable thumbs and 28 hydraulic joints for impressive range of motion.

Funded and overseen by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Atlas will eventually aid in search and rescue operations. The robot will be used to go into places where humans either can't go or where it would be dangerous for them to do so. And you don't have to fear Atlas coming after you: the government has said that they are not interested in weaponizing it.

In addition to the Atlas video, Boston Dynamics released fairly terrifying video of WildCat. The four-legged robot can run 16 mph on flat land and is being developed to run on any terrain. Unlike its predecessor, Cheetah, WildCat doesn't require a tether to operate -- so it can run straight into your nightmares.

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