Remarkable Boston Dynamics robot puts up with bullying

Dave Lee
North America technology reporter

Media caption, Google has unveiled a revamped version of its Atlas robot

Boston Dynamics - the robotics firm owned by Google - has created a humanoid that is able to withstand all manner of bullying and still achieve its task.

Researchers push, kick and tease the remarkable new Atlas robot, which is an upgrade of models we've seen from the firm previously.

Despite the distractions, Atlas continues with its task of picking up and moving boxes.

In one instance, a member of the Boston Dynamics team gives Atlas such a severe whack to its upper back that it falls over, face first on to the floor.

Image source, Boston Dynamics
Image caption, The robot can stop itself falling over in the snow

After a moment of reflection, the robot pushes its arms out and jolts itself upright, before somewhat dejectedly walking out of the building.

Other demonstrations shown in the video posted by Boston Dynamics show Atlas walking around in the snow, righting itself whenever it encounters difficult terrain.

"It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated," the company explained.

"It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain and help with navigation."

The robot is 5ft 9in (175cm) tall and weighs 180lb (82kg).

We learned in December last year that plans to develop a four-legged dog-like robot had been shelved after it was deemed too noisy for its purpose on combat zones.

It had been hoped that the robot would be able to follow troops while carrying extra kit.

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