Artificial Intelligence

Watch Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Balance Like A Real Human

We're one step closer to robots that are truly like humans.

Jelor GallegoSeptember 13th 2016

One of the primary challenges with bigger robots is making them move without falling over. Big, human-sized robots either can’t walk at all, or they walk like a one-legged man having a seizure. Balance, stability, grace—these are the things we have yet to see in a humanoid robot.

Now, we may finally have a contender. Boston Dynamics has been working on the Atlas robot, and new work from IHMC shows that it can balance on a piece of wood as well as any person can.

In the video, we can see Atlas balancing on a thin piece of wood for thirty seconds. But its not just the balancing part that’s awesome—its seeing a robot move, shift its weight, and react like an actual person.

Notably, its original specs were meant to make it humanoid. It has a height of approximately 1.8 meters (6 feet) and a weight of 150 kg (330 pounds). It’s also fairly robust—it’s made of aircraft-grade titanium and aluminum with blue LED lights mounted inside its chest.

Remarkably, its reaction when it finally loses to gravity even mimics how a person would when taking a tumble, twisting its torso in the opposite direction.

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