Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (2024)

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (1)

    Apr 18

    Eve Peyser

    Make robots hairy

    Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (2)

    Cath Virginia / The Verge | Photos courtesy of Boston Dynamics and Getty Images

    On Wednesday, Boston Dynamics announced the new version of its Atlas robot with a characteristically unsettling video. In it, a humanoid android lifts itself up from the floor by bending its legs backward and then swivels its fathomless void of a head a full 180 degrees like it’s Linda Blair in The Exorcist. The footage is obviously creepy.

    In a press release, the company said that it decided to make the new, fully electric Atlas robot move like an undead Cirque du Soleil performer (paraphrasing) because it can more efficiently complete tasks when it is not “constrained by a human range of motion.” I am OKAY with this! Boston Dynamics is doing exciting things with technology!

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (3)

    Apr 17

    Jess Weatherbed

    Boston Dynamics’ new Atlas robot is a swiveling, shape-shifting nightmare

    It’s alive! A day after announcing it was retiring Atlas, its hydraulic robot, Boston Dynamics has introduced a new, all-electric version of its humanoid machine. The next-generation Atlas robot is designed to offer a far greater range of movement than its predecessor.

    Boston Dynamics wanted the new version to show that Atlas can keep a humanoid form without limiting “how a bipedal robot can move.” The new version has been redesigned with swiveling joints that the company claims make it “uniquely capable of tackling dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks.”

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (4)

    Feb 7

    Jess Weatherbed

    Boston Dynamic’s Atlas robot has picked up some new tricks.

    By which I mean it’s literally learning to pick up objects and slide them onto shelves, like the 30-pound car struts seen in the video below.

    Completing these complex maneuvers are essential if Atlas, and the bipedal robots being trialed by Tesla, BMW, and Amazon have any hope of besting good, old-fashioned human power.

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (5)

    Jan 18, 2023

    James Vincent

    Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is tossing tool bags around a (fake) construction site

    Is Boston Dynamics slowly preparing to put its bipedal robots to work?

    In a glossy new video, the company has shown off its prototype Atlas robot tossing planks and tool bags around in a fake construction site. In a second, behind-the-scenes video, Boston Dynamics’ team lead on Atlas, Scott Kuindersma, explained that the video is “meant to communicate an expansion of the research we’re doing on Atlas.” As ever, it’s important to note that these videos are rigorously planned and structured, with falls and mistakes edited out. But, as Kuindersma notes, it’s still a change of pace for Atlas.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (6)

    Aug 17, 2021

    James Vincent

    Boston Dynamics shows how bipedal Atlas robot flips, vaults, and falls over in latest videos

    Boston Dynamics has published a pair of new videos showcasing its bipedal Atlas robot. The first is typical Boston Dynamics flash, with two Atlas units demonstrating an extremely impressive gymnastics routine. They flip, they vault, they nearly fall over but not quite — it’s brilliant. The second video, though, offers an unusually transparent assessment of Atlas’ capabilities, as the company’s engineers explain what goes into creating these routines.

    As Boston Dynamics has said before, Atlas is essentially a research project: a cutting-edge machine that helps the company’s engineers work out better control and perception systems. “At a practical level it’s a platform for us to do R&D on,” says Benjamin Stephens, control lead for Atlas, in the video. That research includes these gymnastic and parkour routines, with which the company regularly delights (and unnerves) the internet.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (7)

    Dec 29, 2020

    Chaim Gartenberg

    Boston Dynamics robots take over the dance floor in latest video

    Boston Dynamics’ Atlas and Spot robots can do a lot of things: sprinting, gymnastic routines, parkour, backflips, opening doors to let in an army of their friends, washing dishes, and (poorly) getting actual jobs. But the company’s latest video adds another impressive trick to our future robotic overlords’ repertoire: busting sick dance moves.

    The video sees Boston Dynamics’ entire lineup of robots — the humanoid Atlas, the dog-shaped Spot, and the box-juggling Handle — all come together in a bopping, coordinated dance routine set to The Contours’ “Do You Love Me.”

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (8)

    Sep 24, 2019

    Jon Porter

    Boston Dynamics’ Atlas can now do an impressive gymnastics routine

    Alongside the news that Boston Dynamics is going to let its robot dog, Spot, out of its laboratory for the first time, the company has released a new video of Atlas, its spectacular bipedal robot that’s previously been seen doing everything from parkour to backflips. In this latest video, Atlas does a small gymnastics routine, consisting of a number of somersaults, a short handstand, a 360-degree spinning jump, and even a balletic split leap.

    What’s most impressive is seeing Atlas tie all these moves together into one pretty cohesive routine. In the video’s description, Boston Dynamics says that it’s using a “model predictive controller” to blend from one maneuver to the next. Presumably each somersault gives the robot a fair amount of forward momentum, but at no point in the video does it seem to lose its balance as a result. Amazingly, Atlas is able to roll gracefully along its back without any of its machinery getting squashed or tangled.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (9)

    Jul 17, 2019

    James Vincent

    Boston Dynamics’ robots are preparing to leave the lab — is the world ready?

    Not many robotics companies can boast legions of fans online, but not many robotics companies make robots quite like Boston Dynamics.

    Each time the firm shares new footage of its machines, they cause a sensation. Whether it’s a pack of robot dogs towing a truck or a human-like bot leaping nimbly up a set of boxes, Boston Dynamics’ bots are uniquely thrilling.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (10)

    Oct 11, 2018

    Sean O'Kane

    Boston Dynamics will definitely win the first Robot Ninja Warrior

    Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (11)

    Image: Boston Dynamics

    Everyone’s favorite future robot overlords are back with a new trick: parkour. SoftBank-owned Boston Dynamics released a short video today that shows its bipedal humanoid Atlas robot breezing over a log before showing some serious ups as it hops to the top of a set of staggered boxes.

    It’s another feather in the cap of the small Massachusetts outfit, which has regularly teased new robots with new capabilities for years now despite having been abandoned by Google. While it’s still not totally clear whether Boston Dynamics will find paying customers for these robots, just look at the list of Things Boston Dynamics’ Robots Can Do:

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (12)

    May 10, 2018

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    Boston Dynamics’ robots are learning how to run outside and navigate autonomously

    Boston Dynamics’ robots look more natural and more amazing with each video, and today the company posted two more clips to its YouTube channel showing the latest progress of its Atlas and SpotMini robots.

    The clips don’t reveal much we haven’t seen before, but they both show how naturally these robots are able to move around. In one video, Atlas, the humanoid robot, goes for a jog in a grassy yard that appears to be sloped here and there.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (13)

    Nov 17, 2017

    Paul Miller

    One small backflip for a robot is one giant leaping backflip for humankind

    Something that often bothers me about sci-fi is the loner inventor trope. A guy in a garage builds a robot, or AI, or frequently both that are somehow decades beyond the technology of his day, and all the wild implications of his vast technological leap are the fuel for the next two and a half hours of popcorn entertainment.

    But the latest video from Boston Dynamics is the closest equivalent I've ever witnessed IRL. Sure, it’s the achievement of an entire company, and they’re doing it on YouTube for everyone to see, not in a basem*nt. But a backflip?

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (14)

    Nov 16, 2017

    Natt Garun

    No big deal, Boston Dynamics’ Atlas can perform backflips now

    It’s been a while since we’ve seen any updates to the Atlas robot after Alphabet sold Boston Dynamics to SoftBank in June. After unveiling a teaser of its SpotMini robot just a few days ago, the company is now back with a new video of Atlas just casually performing gymnastics moves like it’s Tokyo 2020. Most of the video highlights the Atlas’ ability to hop up straight and stabilize itself on a platform, and jump while turning 180 degrees. Its movements are more fluid than ever, and Atlas appears to maintain great form.

    Nothing to gawk at; my eight-year-old can do that, you say? Hold my grease. The most impressive portion of the demonstration is its last move. Atlas is seen turning around and backflipping off a block, all while masterfully sticking its landing. It even does a little arm raise to simultaneously gain balance and celebrate its success.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (15)

    Dec 1, 2016

    Chaim Gartenberg

    Watch this robot struggle to walk over uneven ground like a real person

    Boston Dynamics, the famed manufacturer of the robots that will one day ascend past human intelligence and install themselves as our metallic overlords, released the latest version of its bipedal Atlas robot earlier this year. And now, the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IMHC) has upgraded Atlas even further, with a new control algorithm that solves one of the Atlas' biggest issues: walking on uneven terrain.

    The new algorithm allows the robot to maintain its balance as it walks over the scattered cinder blocks by dynamically testing the terrain and adjusting its foot position and weight distribution to avoid falling, just like real, live humans do.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (16)

    Feb 24, 2016

    Rich McCormick

    Boston Dynamics' latest robot is here to make humanity irrelevant

    Boston Dynamics has a long history of producing terrifying robots, and its scientists have a long history of kicking, taunting, and teasing them. That ill-advised practice continues in the company's latest video, showcasing its next generation Atlas droid, a bipedal bot capable of striding through snow, picking up boxes, opening doors, and — by the looks of things — one day murdering humans.

    Atlas' gait is a bit awkward — it stumbles as it walks around the woods near Boston Dynamics' offices — but the machine is relentless, righting itself before it takes a tumble. If it does get knocked over, as it does when one of the company's scientists plants a stick in its back during the video, then it can get back up by itself. The robot's even capable of tracking boxes, bending down to collect them when they're on the floor, and repeating the process when the boxes are smacked out of its hands by its overlords. Let's hope it's not capable of tracking the faces of people that have wronged it, or else they'll be first against the wall during the robot uprising.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (17)

    Jan 15, 2016

    Nick Statt

    The super advanced Atlas robot can’t vacuum better than a Roomba

    A humanoid robot that takes out the trash and cleans our floors is a far more pleasant view of the future than an AI army of automatons bent on enslaving mankind. Unfortunately, we still haven't figured out how to make robots move around the real world with the precision of a human, let alone perform household chores. Florida's Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) is getting closer, however, with its in-house Atlas robot.

    The team released a video this week of its Atlas, a bipedal humanoid bot originally developed by Google-owned Boston Mechanics with government funding back in 2013, performing a set of activities that require "whole-body coordinated motions." Those activities include vacuuming a carpet and placing trash in a receptacle. The experiments, conducted as part of a routine code test, are designed to help expand the robot's capabilities, albeit with a human operator helping it along the way.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (18)

    Jan 20, 2015

    Lizzie Plaugic

    Boston Dynamics' redesigned Atlas robot is 75 percent more futuristic

    In a potentially unsettling nod to Ayn Rand, the robot is nicknamed Atlas Unplugged, and it features several new upgrades (none of which is an Objectivist mindset). Unlike the original Atlas, the Atlas Unplugged runs entirely on battery and no longer requires a safety line to stand upright. The humanoid has a shiny new distribution panel, new arms and forearms with a wider range of motion, and a new, quieter pressure pump so users can operate Atlas without hearing protection. Only the original lower legs and feet are still in use. Here's a GIF of the original Atlas for reference:

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (19)

    Nov 11, 2014

    Josh Dzieza

    Watch Google's robot perform that scene from 'The Karate Kid'

    When everyone was wondering what Google had in mind for all its new robotics companies, "teaching robots martial arts" was probably one of the more paranoid guesses. But here we are with a new video from Boston Dynamics, somehow both whimsical and unsettling, in which their robot Atlas balances on one leg atop a stack of cinderblocks, re-enacting that scene from The Karate Kid.

    Watch it for yourself, but note, not only is it the stuff of nightmares, it’s accompanied by a shrill alarm, so you should mute your computer first.

    Read Article >

  • Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (20)

    Jul 12, 2013

    Carl Franzen

    DARPA unveils 6-foot-tall humanoid robot Atlas for researchers to program and pilot

    Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (21)

    It's not quite Terminator, but it's not that far off either: Check out Atlas, a new, 6-foot, 2-inch-tall humanoid robot designed for a contest being held by US Defense Department. The 290-pounds machine is being called "one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built," in no small part due to its 28 different hydraulic joints and freakishly good balance. Unveiled publicly for the first time earlier this week, it's the latest robot from Boston Dynamics, the company behind such internet robotic sensations as Petman (a robotic man) and AlphaDog (a robotic dog), both designed for the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). But unlike those previous robots, which were restricted to military and company usage, the keys to Atlas will be turned over to a few lucky civilians, so that they can program and pilot it using their own software.

    That's because Atlas is one of several robots competing in DARPA's Virtual Robotics Challenge, a public contest with a $2 million grand prize that DARPA launched in October last year. The contest invited researchers from universities and companies across the county to design and build the best humanoid robotic systems they could, for the purpose of diaster response (think the f*ckushima nuclear meltdown in the wake of the 2011 Japanese tsunami). DARPA announced today that it has picked six teams from around the country, including ones fielded by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the acclaimed robotics school Carnegie Mellon University, to advance onto the first series of physical trials scheduled for this coming December in Miami (see the robots in the video below).

    Read Article >

Boston Dynamics Atlas robot: a full history (2024)


What is the history of the Atlas robot? ›

Atlas is a bipedal humanoid robot primarily developed by the American robotics company Boston Dynamics with funding and oversight from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The robot was initially designed for a variety of search and rescue tasks, and was unveiled to the public on July 11, 2013.

Is the Boston Dynamics Atlas robot real? ›

The world's most dynamic humanoid robot, our fully electric Atlas robot is designed for real-world applications. The next generation of the Atlas program builds on decades of research and furthers our commitment to delivering the most capable, useful mobile robots.

Is Atlas the most advanced robot? ›

Atlas was the most agile humanoid in existence until it retired in 2024. This version, known as HD, or hydraulic, Atlas, used whole-body skills to move quickly and balance dynamically. It could lift and carry objects like boxes and crates, but its favorite tricks were running, jumping, and doing backflips.

Why was Atlas retired? ›


How old is the Boston Dynamics Atlas? ›

The Atlas disaster-response robot made its public debut on July 11, 2013.

What is replacing an Atlas robot? ›

Robotics firm Boston Dynamics has unveiled its latest humanoid bot just a day after pulling the plug on its industry-leading Atlas machine. The new all-electric Atlas replaces the hydraulic version, which gained headlines in recent years for its parkour feats and ability to perform a back flip.

Who funded the Atlas robot? ›

The original Atlas made its public debut in 2013 in Waltham, Mass., where Boston Dynamics is based, after it received initial funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The company was awarded a $10.8 million contract to work with the agency on developing Atlas for the D.A.R.P.A.

Can you buy Atlas robots? ›

Can I buy a Boston Dynamics robot? Spot and Stretch are available commercially, while Atlas is an R&D robot and is not available for sale. Our products are designed for commercial, industrial, enterprise, and university research uses.

How fast can Atlas robot run? ›

How fast can Atlas go? The fastest Atlas has run is around 5.5 mph. There's a running joke here where we keep thinking the robot is at its hardware limits in terms of strength, speed, and flexibility, but then the software team finds a way to do something more athletic and coordinated than we were ever able to before.

How much is a Boston Dynamics robot worth? ›

In 2019, Boston Dynamics made Spot available for lease, and announced plans to manufacture a thousand units per year. The company's goal is to offer Spot, or even packs of them, to inspect industrial sites, carry out hazardous missions, and make deliveries. In 2020, the robot went on sale with a price tag of $74,500.

How much can the Atlas robot carry? ›

Degrees of freedom (DOF)28
Navigation sensorsLIDAR and stereo vision
Hydraulic ActuationLegs
5 more rows

What are the disadvantages of Atlas robot? ›

Disadvantages: They have not found a suitable power source to fuel this robot. So far the power source they using two generators. Sadly these robots are too slow, weak, or clumsy to do much. What are maps and why are they useful?

Is Tesla robot better than Boston Dynamics? ›

While Boston Dynamics' robots showcase unmatched physical capabilities, Tesla's Optimus stands out with its revolutionary AI brain, practical design for factory operations, and potential for human-like dexterity.

Why was Atlas punished? ›

Atlas' Punishment from Zeus

Atlas was given the task of holding up the heavens as punishment from Zeus for leading the Titans in their battle with the Olympian Gods for control of the heavens.

What is the oldest robot in history? ›

The earliest robots as we know them were created in the early 1950s by George C. Devol, an inventor from Louisville, Kentucky. He invented and patented a reprogrammable manipulator called "Unimate," from "Universal Automation." For the next decade, he attempted to sell his product in the industry, but did not succeed.

What is the origin of the world robot? ›

The word 'robot' was first used to denote a fictional humanoid in a 1920 Czech-language play R.U.R. (Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti – Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karel Čapek, though it was Karel's brother Josef Čapek who was the word's true inventor.

What is the history of the Yaskawa robot? ›

Yaskawa's legendary robot MOTOMAN-L10 with first full electric system in Japan which becomes the basis of the current industrial robot was completed in 1977. The small volume AC servo drive Σ(Sigma) series began selling in 1992 in pursuit of thorough miniaturization and high performance.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated:

Views: 6183

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.