Boston Dynamics, the company behind BigDog, is making further exploration into robots with a humanoid robot called ATLAS.
Part-funded by Google, which owns Boston Dynamics, and DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency), the robot is designed to perform rescue tasks in places either too small or too dangerous for human beings to venture into, such as a nuclear reactor.
Not much has been heard about ATLAS — the main focus of recent times has been on BigDog, a quadruped robot — but Boston Dynamics has been working hard and the robot can now walk outside (almost) independently. In a video (skip to 0:40) released by the company ATLAS can clearly be seen walking around with just his power cord for support, navigating complicated territory with relative ease.
ATLAS’ movement at present is shaky and it still requires a power cord for support but Google X/Boston Dynamics has a long history of working hard to bring the future ahead of schedule and so it’s feasible that we could see improvements in the near future.