The team that came in second place in last year’s DARPA Robotics Challenge competition has now shown its Atlas robot doing some potentially very useful things.
In a new video reported today by IEEE Spectrum, IHMC Robotics demonstrates its Atlas robot — which was made available to the team from Boston Dynamics, a company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet — doing several chores, including sweeping up Nerf bullets, throwing bottles and cans into a trash can, vacuuming, and even using a hand pallet truck to raise some concrete blocks. Some Japanese robots have been proven to be capable of performing household tasks. Now American robotics hardware and software are making progress in that area.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s interesting that the DARPA entry from IHMC — short for the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, based in the small city of Pensacola — was sponsored by Amazon, among others. Amazon, of course, uses robots in its warehouses, by way of its Kiva acquisition.
Check out the video to see what IHMC’s Atlas robot is doing nowadays: