What's new, Atlas? (AI, Robotics and tech thread)

That’s the title of this video showing the latest development in robotics: the bipedal robot Atlas can now not only jump from place to place, both vertical and horizontally, it can also do stationary backflips!

These fields are moving fast, and I propose that the Straight Dope could use a place to inform about and monitor developments. For one, I think it’ll be interesting to be able to look back in a few years and see what things have come to fruition, what has languished and what has been supplanted by something that hasn’t even been developed yet.

It’s a subject that interests me enough that I spend some time most days at sites like futurism.com and wired.com and ieet.org trying to learn about what’s happening in these and other fields; surely I’m not alone amongst Dopers in my fascination with these things, right?

I’m hoping that this can be an informative and entertaining showcase; in addition to the above video, I’ll start us out with:

Goliath the carpenter robot
Bender’s Dream
Amazon Warehouse Robots
Old Glory Insurance

Have you seen this one where he’s having a bad day? (possibly NSFW=language)

It’s just fascinating how he/it keeps its balance, even in the snow.

My favorite Atlas video so far: The swearing voiceover from 2016.

Very funny voiceover; I may have to start using “what the fuck, Kevin?” in my day-to-day.

And yeah, the balance is amazing. I thought it was amazing when they were trying to kick the various Big Dogs over, and those things had 4 legs, and were huge and noisy.

Meet Spot, the robot dog that can run, hop and open doors. Spot is very cool and the hand tech is wicked amazing. But the video also features a good recap of previous robots and includes footage of Handle, which is an Atlas/Spot hybrid with wheels (it’s freaking amazing). Then they really look at Spot in depth for a few minutes and then there’s a Q&A.

It would serve no purpose, but do you think Spot scratches fleas?

I’m sure there’s a practical answer, but why was there a bannister on the steps during the one sequence (where they’re trying to interfere with it going upstairs)?

Every “interference” motion in that TED clip made me hear, “WTF, Kevin!”

Was I seeing things, or does Atlas have a sway in the torso (obviously for balance) as well as a “bob” (also for balance) when walking? Scary how natural the walking looks.

I noticed that too. You can see it in how it balances itself after the backflip too. It’s almost looked like a waldo drone with some gymnast remotely performing the moves that the robot did, but I know that isn’t the case.

Getting real close to that uncanny valley, eh.

That backflip HAD to be a CGI effect! :wink: Notice how the nearest leg shook slightly just after landing? Just amazing. (Though he might lose a tenth of a point in Olympic scoring :D)

What’s a waldo drone? I tried to Google it and got a bunch of hits about central Florida (Waldo is a speed trap town down here.)

Waldo” is the more correct term for machines that are directly operated by a remote human (“robots” are autonomous once programmed–if there is a person pulling the strings, it ain’t a robot.)

Much obliged, Mr. Garrison.

Aye. I used the made-up phrase “waldo drone” because typically waldos are hard-wire controls, not wireless remote controls, and because we don’t yet think of drones as anything other than a flying machine without an onboard operator.

I was imagining someone in a full body suit with sensors, similar to a green screen suit worn by actors, that wirelessly controlled the robot, because it is seriously uncanny how human the movements of Atlas can be.

Perhaps I should have coined the portmanteau waldrone earlier, but there; I’ve gone and coined it now anyway.

^ Works for me.

How awful would it be if Mr. Motion Capture, offstage, whiffed his backflip and Atlas go SPLAT? (“F***!”)

There’s a goof in the post-credits; didn’t you see that one? [ETA: Start at :50]

And yeah, it too looks like a waldrone in action, it’s so lifelike in ways.

I missed that the first time around; the first recovery is not bad at all, by gum! The second was obviously Kevin screwing around (going for a “Jackass” vibe, or something). Thanks for mentioning that.

Are you sure Peter Weller isn’t inside that thing? :slight_smile:

Okay; not quite

I though this was interesting:

A short time later the story includes this:

I suppose it would be true in one sense that no doctors were being replaced if people with no doctor started using Xiaoyi, right?

I have no problem with that, but I would hope a technician of some sort would be there to make sure nothing goze rawng.

“What’s new, Atlas?”, he asked. Atlas shrugged.

The new SpotMini is pretty cool too:

Oh cool, is Waldo still the term? Heinlein would be pleased I believe.

[quote=“Mangetout, post:18, topic:801952”]

The new SpotMini is pretty cool too:

Aye; this is the same robot mentioned in Post #4. The 15 minute TED Talk is really good and shows older DARPA/BD robots as well as other models, including Atlas.

The one in your video has a nifty yellow shell, tho; I thought that looked sharp.