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Meet The Cutting Edge Robots Brought to You by Boston Dynamics

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While we have long seen robots showcased in science-fiction films and television shows, robotics technology in the real world has never truly caught up to what we are shown in the media. However, this is beginning to change, as a company called Boston Dynamics is changing the robotics industry.  The company was spun off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992, and has since developed a wide range of different robots, all of which operate with a fascinating level of efficiency and mobility. While some may ask “Anyone remember Terminator?” the people behind Boston Dynamics are creating some of the most advanced robots in the world, and it is exciting to see such a huge progress in this technology.

Handle is a robot developed by Boston Dynamics that combines wheels and legs to provide agile high-strength mobile movement. The Handle robot is something that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. The model is said to become used by the U.S. military for use in warehouses and places that require heavy lifting. During a robotics challenged by a government research organization, the robot crushed the competition, due to the use of it’s attached wheels that allows them to get around much faster. Boston Dynamics has said that the wheels are extremely energy-efficient, allowing Handle to travel up to 15 miles on single charge.

On the smaller scale, the Spot Mini is one of the newest robotic creations coming from Boston Dynamics. This small four-legged robot is one that could fit comfortable in an office or a home. It weighs around 50 pounds and runs on an ell-electric charge. It can also be fitted with a strange looking arm that would be in the place where a head would be. This arm can pick up and handle objects, using its several sets of cameras to see what is in front of them. Boston Dynamics recently released an absolutely incredible (and somewhat frightening) video showing their Spot Mini using it’s arm to open a door for another fellow SpotMini robot.

BigDog is the first advanced rough-terrain robot, designed by Boston Dynamics. The BigDog has four legs that are attached to the body of the robot, and are used in the same as an animal would. About the size of a large dog, the on-board computers fitted into the body of the robot allow for a wide range of abilities, including communications, locomotion control, sensors that help BigDog balance. BigDog runs a little under 6 mph, and is able to climb slopes up to 35 degrees. It can also transverse across rough-terrain, including hiking trails, muddy slopes, snow, water, all while being able to carry 300 pound loads.

Perhaps the most humanoid-looking robots in their lineup, the Atlas is also one of the most nimble in terms of natural human-like movements. The Atlas has a torso, arms, and legs, and is able to achieve complete manipulation of its whole body. It can balance itself if it met with a force threatening to push it over. Last year, Boston Dynamics showed the world that the Atlas can now perform complex movements, including jumping onto three increasingly high platforms, and even performing a perfect backflip.

 

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind, I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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