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Atlas, the Robot Worker from Boston Dynamics, Masters New Skills for Construction Sites

Boston Dynamics, a leading innovator in robotics technology, recently released a video titled "Atlas Gets a Grip," showcasing their humanoid robot, Atlas, performing an array of new moves at a simulated construction site. The video demonstrates the natural progression of Atlas' skillset, particularly in areas of perception, manipulation, and autonomy, making it a potential candidate for future robot jobs in the construction industry.

In the video, Atlas uses a claw gripper to pick up and manipulate a wooden plank, creating a bridge to a scaffold. The robot then picks up a toolbag, runs onto the scaffold, spins around, and throws the toolbag up to a construction worker. Atlas pushes a wooden box off the scaffold and flips its way to the ground, displaying remarkable agility and balance.

The new capabilities demonstrated by Atlas include improved control systems for executing a 180-degree jump while holding a wooden plank, performing a spinning jump while throwing a toolbag, and generating enough power to push a wooden box off the platform without losing balance. Atlas' final move, an inverted 540-degree multi-axis flip, adds asymmetry to its movement, making it a more challenging skill than previously performed parkour.

Boston Dynamics installed utility "claw" grippers with one fixed finger and one moving finger on Atlas for this video. These simple grippers, designed for heavy lifting tasks, enable Atlas to pick up and move objects of different sizes, materials, and weights while maintaining balance, thanks to its enhanced locomotion and sensing capabilities.

Ben Stephens, Atlas controls lead at Boston Dynamics, explained that the company is building upon previous research in extreme locomotion to combine it with meaningful manipulation. The goal is for Atlas to perform tasks with human-like speed and efficiency, which requires significant upgrades to the control software.

While humanoid robots capable of routinely tackling dirty and dangerous jobs in the real world are still a long way off, the advancements demonstrated by Atlas provide a glimpse into the future of robotics. As the field of manipulation continues to evolve, robots like Atlas could one day become valuable robot workers in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and more.

Hire robots like Atlas for future construction jobs and witness the incredible potential of robotics technology in transforming the world of work.

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