Meet Atlas the robot out to save lives

13 Jul

 

After the Japan tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis with Fukushima meltdown, the military realized they needed a robotic way to handle the clean up of these disasters. So, in April of 2012 DARPA (defense advanced research project agency) put out the call for a humanoid robot to do the job. Then in August of 2012 Jeff brought you the story when DARPA told Boston Dynamic that they were the winners of the contract. Now, here we are in June of 2013 and Boston Dynamics has unveiled there new robot to the world and its name is Atlas.

“Two weeks ago 19 brave firefighters lost their lives,” said Gill Pratt, a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the Pentagon, which oversaw Atlas’s design and financing. “A number of us who are in the robotics field see these events in the news, and the thing that touches us very deeply is a single kind of feeling which is, can’t we do better? All of this technology that we work on, can’t we apply that technology to do much better? I think the answer is yes.”

Atlas was the Greek Titan that was responsible for holding the world on his shoulders. So; at 6 foot 2 inches tall, 330 pounds, 28 hydrological joints, an on-board computer and a capability of carrying out feats that humans are capable of doing; Atlas is an appropriate name. Of course DARPA still must make sure that Atlas can live up to its name and hype about its capabilities. So, later this year they will be putting the robot through a series of 6 test to judge its capabilities.

“We have dramatically raised the expectations for robotic capabilities with this challenge,” said Gill Pratt, programme manager for the challenge in a statement.

Once the robot passes all of the test then they will be producing more of these mechanical marvels to be ready for any future disasters that they will be called to do. Someday we could have dozens of these robots ready to carry out the jobs are that are just too dangerous, or in some cases impossible, for humans to do.

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