Farewell Atlas, you running, spinning, backflipping robot marvel

After almost 10 years of often-jaw-dropping achievements, Boston Dynamics has said farewell to Atlas, the world’s most dynamic – and groundbreaking – humanoid robot.

New Atlas has followed Atlas’ progress closely over the years. From 2015, when an upgraded, tether-free Atlas was the centerpiece of that year’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge, to a skill progression that saw the robot go from balancing and walking on uneven terrain to performing high-energy gymnastics and parkour moves.

As a tribute to the robot that pushed the limits of the humanoid form, Boston Dynamics has put together a compilation video of Atlas’ thrills (and spills) and included some behind-the-scenes footage.

Farewell to HD Atlas

For Boston Dynamics, the Atlas project was more than a means of showing off with flashy performances. Teaching Atlas parkour, for example, was a way of experimenting with and testing how the robot used its perception to predict and navigate objects.

When you look at the meticulously designed and manufactured Atlas of today – standing 4 ft 9 in/1.5 m and weighing 196 lb/89 kg – you can see the remarkable progress Boston Dynamics has made in the robotics space. It’s even more remarkable when you consider that 40 years ago, the project started out with what looked like a bouncing cake tin.

Boston Dynamics: 40 years of development (1983 – 2023 ) Atlas

Of course, Atlas isn’t the only robot in Boston Dynamics’ stable, there’s also Spot and Stretch. Given how hard the company works to be pioneers in the robotics game, there’s little doubt that its retirement announcement for Atlas will soon be followed by news of a brand-new humanoid robot with even more impressive capabilities.

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