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The biggest breakthrough in robotics yet…

The biggest breakthrough in robotics yet…
August 21, 2023

We are going to start today with an incredible robotics breakthrough at Boston Dynamics. This is something readers will have to see to believe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqF8g3xcD5c

How amazing is this?  

This is the Atlas bipedal robot. And as we can see, it now possesses an incredible level of agility and dexterity. I don’t think many humans can do backflips as effortlessly as this. (2:15 in the video) And pay attention to what happened after that first backflip. 

Notice how Atlas repositioned itself on the box before doing the second backflip. That’s a critical nuance.  Boston Dynamics has had Atlas do demonstrations like this before. But every one of those demonstrations was pre-programmed.

The robot was given a specific routine to execute. This required the room to be perfectly mapped out and all objects to be in exactly the right place.  What’s different about this demonstration is that Atlas now can perceive and understand its environment. And that allows the robot to adjust on the fly.  We see this clearly with that second backflip. Atlas recognized that it needed to be in a better position, made the adjustment, and then carried on with the routine. 

 So what we are looking at here is a functional, agile, and semi-intelligent robot that can operate in almost any physical environment. When we see tech like this, it’s not a leap to start thinking about all the possible applications.  Of course, the most obvious application is package delivery.  

After watching this video, it’s easy to imagine Atlas jumping out of a delivery truck (literally), box in hand. The robot runs up to the proper home and gently sets the box down just like a human delivery person would do. Then Atlas runs back to the delivery truck to get ready for the next one. I’m sure that would be the talk of the neighborhood for a while.  

The point is this robot is ready for commercialization. It’s easy to see why this was an attractive acquisition for South Korean conglomerate Hyundai. This kind of technology, which has required about two decades of research and development, is the future.  Disconcerting or not, in time, we’re going to see tech like this everywhere. I can’t wait to see what Atlas will be doing in the real world.  

So we’ll be watching closely to see what deals Boston Dynamics makes on the back of this breakthrough. I’m sure there are plenty of companies that would love to employ Atlas’ services.  And the use of technology like this will drive additional efficiencies in the businesses that use them, and I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to invest in this trend.

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