Boston Dynamics unveils next-generation electric Atlas robot

17th April 2024
Paige West

This week marked a significant milestone for Boston Dynamics as the company announced the retirement of its hydraulic Atlas robot and introduced its successor: a fully electric version designed to address real-world challenges.

A decade ago, Boston Dynamics was among the few companies investing substantially in humanoid robotics research and development. Today, the landscape has transformed drastically, with numerous firms recognising the potential of advanced robotics. The success of Boston Dynamics' earlier models, Spot and Stretch, has paved the way for the next frontier with Atlas.

The journey of the next-generation Atlas begins with a strategic partnership with Hyundai. Hyundai has not only invested in Boston Dynamics but is also at the forefront of developing next-gen automotive manufacturing capabilities. This collaboration is set to provide an ideal testing ground for Atlas in various new applications.

Over the coming months and years, Boston Dynamics is poised to demonstrate the capabilities of what it describes as the world's most dynamic humanoid robot. This journey will transcend laboratory settings, extending into factories and everyday life, reflecting the company's goal to have a meaningful impact beyond its walls.

The electric Atlas boasts significant improvements over its predecessors, including greater strength and an expanded range of motion. Building on the capabilities of the last generation hydraulic Atlas, which could handle a wide variety of heavy and irregular objects, the new model introduces innovative gripper variations to meet diverse manipulation needs across different customer environments.

Boston Dynamics has also made strides in software development, which is critical to the operational efficacy of its robots. The company's new Orbit software platform offers a centralised system to manage robot fleets, site maps, and digital transformation data. Initially available for Spot, the platform is set to integrate Stretch and Atlas, enhancing the management of enterprise solutions.

The role of humanoid robots continues to evolve, driven by Boston Dynamics' R&D efforts. The Atlas robot, with its humanoid form factor, is designed not just to mimic human movement but to exceed it, optimising efficiency, and effectiveness in task execution.

As the company continues to push the boundaries of what robots can do, its comprehensive ecosystem of hardware, software, services, and support sets the stage for making robotics a valuable asset in real-world applications. The journey with Atlas is just beginning!

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