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Trends in Robotics

Build It. Break It. Fix It.

Atlas jogs up to the embanked yellow plywood panels, bouncing with ease from one to the next until the humanoid robot has made its way up to a box that sits at about waist level. Sensing the gap in front of it, Atlas pauses, plants its feet, and broad jumps across to a table on the other side. 

It sticks the landing. By all appearances, Atlas is cruising. But then, as the robot descends the three stairs back to the floor, a geyser of pink hydraulic fluid erupts from its left knee. The robot gets a few more staggered steps in as the oil gushes into the air, and then collapses in a heap. 

Atlas | Leaps, Bounds, and Backflips

For the first time today, both Atlas robots have completed the complex obstacle course flawlessly. Or, almost flawlessly.

The first of the two robots ran up a series of banked plywood panels, broad jumped a gap, and ran up and down stairs in the course set up on the second floor of the Boston Dynamics headquarters. The second robot leapt onto a balance beam and followed the same steps in reverse, and then the first robot vaulted over the beam. Both landed two perfectly synchronized backflips, and the video team has captured every move. 

From Margaritas to Mars: An Interview on Spot’s Custom Payloads

Spot is more than a mobile robot; it’s a mobile sensing platform that developers can customize with software, sensors, and other hardware payloads to achieve exactly what they need for specific applications. Whether it’s building the tools to explore other planets or to inspect worksites, the ability to easily build on Spot’s base functionality has huge real-world value. 

This flexibility also opens up opportunities for more creative applications. For example, Spot has a storied history with alcoholic beverages, from inspecting breweries to doing other activities with beer. But before all that, there was Margarita Spot: an internal project developing a Spot payload that blends the perfect margarita.

Spot’s Year in the Real World

It’s been a little over a year since Spot graduated from our early adopter program and was released for sale. Our early adopters helped us answer the question, “Can robots handle the real world?” Our customers’ experience with Spot over the past year has answered a follow up question, “Where is Spot adding value?

How Mobile Robots Improve Industrial Safety

According to a recent survey from McKinsey, automation transformation is a priority for 88 percent of respondents in heavy industry, but under 5 percent have actually seen significant bottom-line improvements from these projects. Automation is nothing new for industrial and manufacturing companies hoping to improve efficiency, safety and reliability. So why aren’t they seeing better ROI on these new initiatives?

3 Reasons Mobile Robots Are Right for Your Inspection Needs

In an industrial setting, equipment failure or faulty infrastructure can often result in dangerous working conditions and require costly unplanned downtime to repair. But reliable inspections to know when key equipment or facilities need maintenance can be a challenge.