Hollywood might suggest that our robot development is already at a stage where machines can perfectly mirror human traits but the reality has been quite different – until now.
Real-life robots have had notable difficulties in navigating in open world environments due to terrain's unpredictability. However, the Atlas Robot seems to have overcome that challenge in fine form.
Developed by Google's Boston Dynamics, the humanoid robot made a fool of itself when it couldn't stay on its feet during the recent Robot Olympics. However, it has come a long way since and a new video shows how it can now sprint on uneven surfaces just like we can.
The new visuals show the 6'2" 330-lb. Atlas first being tested in a lab on a heap of jumbled bricks before being set free out in open jungle. It amazingly kept its balance even when hit with a wrecking ball.
"We've been working on humanoid robots, derived from these models," said Boston Dynamics founder Mac Raibert. "It has been studying the way humans and animals move in a bid to replicate, and even improve on it. Our focus is on balance and dynamics, working in the way animals and people do, moving quickly to avoid falling.
"We're interested in getting this robot out in the world, it's ... totally different, you can't predict what it's going to be like. All kinds of stuff happens, and we're making pretty good progress in making its movement sort of within shooting range of yours, and if we keep pushing we'll get there."
Raibert admits that Atlas is far from perfect and still needs to learn a lot but on the evidence of the video above, suffice to say that we are edging closer to seeing humanoids a la T-800 of the Terminator fame.