Boston Dynamics' Revolutionary All-Electric Humanoid

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The humanoid robotics market is witnessing a surge in activity, prompting Boston Dynamics, the industry pioneer, to take decisive action. Introducing their latest creation, the new humanoid robot dubbed Atlas, the company marks a significant step towards commercial viability.

While both the old and new Atlas share a name, their design and functionality diverge significantly. The previous iteration, renowned for its agility and viral stunts, relied on a complex hydraulic system. In contrast, the new Atlas is entirely electric, boasting a more compact and lightweight construction. Notably, it adopts a consumer-oriented design, featuring protective covers and user-friendly elements such as a prominent status light and an illuminated power button reminiscent of Boston Dynamics' Spot series.

With the retirement of the hydraulic Atlas, the company bids farewell with a commemorative video on its YouTube channel, chronicling the evolution of the project. Despite the impressive feats achieved by Atlas over the years, its development journey has been marked by significant learning curves, including enduring challenging impacts, as showcased in the farewell video.

The new Atlas eliminates the cumbersome hydraulic system, opting for a simpler and cleaner design. Although we only receive a brief 30-second glimpse of the new robot, it showcases remarkable capabilities.

This type of movement would have been unfeasible with hydraulic lines. Every action of the previous Atlas had to consider the constraints imposed by the tangled hydraulic lines. If a limb was moved too forcefully, it risked tearing off a line and causing a fluid leak. Similar to human joints, each joint had a designated initial position to prevent entanglement.

With electric joints, there is no need for limitations on range of motion. While the robot's knees appear conventional, its head, torso, hips, shoulders, and thigh joints all seem to offer unrestricted 360-degree movement. Utilizing components like slip rings capable of transmitting electrical signals to rotating parts, these joints likely have the ability to rotate endlessly without requiring a home position. Boston Dynamics dubs the new Atlas as the "world's most dynamic humanoid robot".

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