Boston Dynamics, which Google bought in 2013, has begun testing one of its humanoid robots — those that are designed to function like humans — out in the wild.
Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics, talked about the research and showed footage of the project during a talk on Aug. 3 at the 11th Fab Lab Conference and Symposium in Cambridge, Mass.
“Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than in the lab,” Raibert said at the conference, which was organized by the Fab Foundation, a division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms. “You can’t predict what it’s going to be like.”
Boston Dynamics has tested its LS3 quadruped (four-legged) robot out in natural settings in the past. But humanoid robots are different — they can be much taller and have a higher center of gravity. Keeping them moving on paved asphalt is one thing, but maneuvering them through rugged terrain, which is what Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robots dealt with recently during the DARPA Robotics Challenge, can be trickier.
See for yourself how this humanoid robot performs in the woods.