Meet the new Atlas: stronger, swifter and fully electric

Just a day after Boston Dynamic’s humanoid robot, Atlas, was retired, its new and very definitely improved sibling is generating significant attention.

The new Atlas maintains its predecessor’s human-like form but is fully electric, rather than the previous hydraulic version.

The result is a much greater range of motion, which makes it more capable than ever before. 

In a 30-second clip launched on YouTube, Boston Dynamics highlights Atlas’s capabilities, which include the ability to go from laying flat to standing, with joints that have more flexibility and strength than an Olympic gymnast.

Atlas was designed in conjunction with Hyundai, which is Boston Dynamics’ parent company, and is stronger and more dexterous than ever before, with an illuminated head and swivelling joints that whiz and whirr.

“Atlas may resemble a human form factor, but we are equipping the robot to move in the most efficient way possible to complete a task, rather than being constrained by a human range of motion,” Boston Dynamics said in a statement. 

“Atlas will move in ways that exceed human capabilities.”

Boston Dynamics said the new Atlas built on decades of research and came on the back of the successful launch and uptake of warehouse robot Stretch, and construction site robot Spot.

“A decade ago, we were one of the only companies putting real R&D effort into humanoid robots,” Boston Dynamics said.

“Now the landscape in the robotics industry is very different. 

“Our customers have seen success with Spot and Stretch and they are eager to tackle the next challenge with Atlas.”

That journey will start with Hyundai, which is building the next generation of automotive manufacturing capabilities, which Boston Dynamics said would be the “perfect testing ground” for Atlas’s capabilities.

“In the months and years ahead, we’re excited to show what the world’s most dynamic humanoid robot can really do—in the lab, in the factory, and in our lives,” they said.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.