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Boston Dynamics showcases automotive assembly tasks for flagship humanoid robot Atlas

Robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics has released a new video demonstrating its renowned Atlas humanoid robot autonomously locating and manipulating car parts in simulated factory operations. The upgraded demo aims to prove Atlas remains an innovative force as newer humanoid entrants like Digit, Buddy, and Tesla's Optimus capture recent headlines.

In the footage, the bipedal Atlas relying solely on onboard sensors grabs struts from vertical storage racks and deliberately places them onto a conveyor cart representing automotive assembly procedures.

This marks the first public showing of Atlas handling advanced industrial object perception and coordination with its whole-body mobility. The agile yet strong robot could potentially take over strenuous lifting or dangerous activities in future manufacturing environments.

While companies like Agility Robotics and Apptronik rush more specialized humanoids towards nascent commercialization in logistics and services, Boston Dynamics continues investing in Atlas R&D to push boundaries - likely with an eventual eye toward commercial viability.

The advanced demo comes on the heels of fellow humanoid Figure inking an exploratory BMW partnership and Agility's Digit being trialed for aircraft maintenance by defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

By keeping pace with real-world applications demanded by enterprises, Atlas remains an aspirational platform stretching the entire field - complementing the commercial inroads other humanoids make initially in narrowly-defined use cases. Far from forgotten, the iconic Atlas persists as a vision of a future yet fully realized.

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