The capabilities of the Atlas robot are demonstrated during the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory's Demo Day on April 6, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Dynamics funded Atlas robot is a part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge program.
Christian Science Monitor—Christian Science Monitor/Getty
By Eliana Dockterman
August 18, 2015

Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot, Atlas, explored the Massachusetts wilderness in a video shown at the Fab Lab conference earlier this month and posted online Saturday. Atlas specializes in walking like humans do and being able to navigate uneven surfaces or surprise obstacles by shifting its weight.

“Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than in the lab. You can’t predict what it’s going to be like,” said company founder Marc Raibert. “We’re making pretty good progress on making it so that it has mobility that’s in pretty good shooting range of yours. I’m not saying it can do everything you can do, but you can imagine if we keep pushing we’ll get there.”

Atlas recently participated in the Darpa Robotics Challenge, a competition designed to test robots to see if they’re capable of helping humans respond to natural disasters. In the challenge, the robots had to use machines, perform human tasks like opening doors and navigate crowded spaces.

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