DARPA has been working on a few impressive humanoid robots (which I’ve written about) for the past few years. As before, they’re collaborating with Boston Dynamics to develop the ATLAS humanoid, and they’ve clearly come a long way since developing its younger sibling, the Pet-Proto, as the below video proves. Unlike Pet-Proto, the 74″ ATLAS has arms with modular wrists, giving it near-human anthropometry.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkBnFPBV3f0&w=620&h=349]Skip to 0:40 for the really good stuff.
ATLAS’ 28 hydraulically actuated joints are in a closed-loop system, granting the humanoid serious crash protection and extremely precise motion control. Software-focused teams will utilize this fascinating hardware to compete in the first physical event of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, in December of this year at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.