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Boston Dynamics retires its remarkable Atlas robot

Farewell to HD Atlas

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot has been impressing us with its acrobatics and other antics over the last decade, but the company just announced that it’s retiring the bipedal bot.

“Atlas has sparked our imagination, inspired the next generations of roboticists, and leapt over technical barriers in the field,” Boston Dynamics said in comments accompanying a YouTube video (top) celebrating the contraption. “Now it’s time for our hydraulic Atlas robot to kick back and relax.”

The video illustrates just how far the Boston Dynamics team has come with Atlas through plenty of footage showing the robot taking a tumble during numerous tests on challenging terrain and trying to jump between platforms.

After much development, the talented team had created an incredibly agile machine capable of replicating human movement with astonishing accuracy. In fact, it could do plenty of things that human’s can’t, including somersaults and parkour. Funky dance moves were also part of its repertoire.

It’s not clear why Boston Dynamics has retired Atlas. Digital Trends has reached out to the company for more information and we’ll update this article when we hear back.

Despite earlier videos indicating that the company had been considering commercializing Atlas for work in locations like warehouses, things clearly haven’t worked out in the same way that it has for another Boston Dynamics robot, the dog-like Spot.

The team apparently felt that Atlas had reached its potential, though engineers who worked on the project will have learned plenty that can be carried over to future endeavors.

The video even leaves us with a little teaser suggesting Atlas could one day be rebooted, as it ends with the message: “Til we meet again.” At the least, it feels like Boston Dynamics will be unveiling an even more impressive robot in the not-too-distant future.

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Trevor Mogg
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