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Company retires humanoid robot for model with real-world capabilities

Boston Dynamics said it will replace its hydraulic Atlas model with a fully electric robot designed for "real-world applications."
Company retires humanoid robot for model with real-world capabilities
Posted at 7:30 PM, Apr 19, 2024

In a sign of how a future might look in which robots and humans move about in our world, a U.S. company said it would upgrade its humanoid robot with a new model that was designed to have more real-world commercial and industrial applications. 

Boston Dynamics said in a statement its hydraulic Atlas robot model would be retired and replaced with a new fully electric Atlas robot "designed for real-world applications."

The company said it began putting research and development resources into humanoid robots around 10 years ago, and has seen other players come onto the scene in that time. Boston Dynamics said it will work with Hyundai to test new applications for its Atlas model. 

A spokesperson for the company said the now-retired humanoid robot would be put in their office lobby museum with other robots that were decommissioned, the New York Times reported

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The company posted a video online this week showing some of the incredible movement capabilities that the Atlas model had in some of their tests — including some of the dramatic failures it experienced at times.

"For almost a decade, Atlas has sparked our imagination, inspired the next generations of roboticists, and leapt over technical barriers in the field," the company said. "Now it's time for our hydraulic Atlas robot to kick back and relax. Take a look back at everything we've accomplished with the Atlas platform to date."

The image of a world where robots become more advanced is exciting for some, and not so much for others. Stanford noted in a brief history of robotics that some have historically perceived robots to be "dangerous technological ventures that will someday lead to the demise of the human race."

Boston Dynamics, for its part, publishes a code of ethics that states its robots should be trustworthy, must remain unweaponized and must not violate existing civil rights or privacy laws.

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