Boston Dynamics is an engineering and robotics design company, founded in 1992. The company began life as a research department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT as it is popularly known. Boston Dynamics was acquired by Google in 2013 who later sold it onto the Japanese firm Softbank Corp in 2017. But through all the 27 years of its existence, Boston Dynamics has become the leader in robotic engineering and software design.
The Atlas robot is the culmination of all those years of intense research and development. In the last 5 years, the Atlas technology has progressed at a rapid rate. Atlas predecessors and prototypes were once propped up by support rigging to prevent falls and potential damage.
Today Atlas is free from the constraints of wires and is able to perform humanoid stunts unaided. But here’s the deal, Atlas uses algorithms and sensors to machine learn it’s environment without the need to continuously rely on a pre-determined set of procedures and commands.
What you see in Atlas can easily be transferred into future vehicle design, be it advanced learning algorithms for future autonomous driving technologies or smart AI. On a worrying note, Atlas could, in theory, replace humans.