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So THAT’S why Boston Dynamics retired its Atlas robot

All New Atlas | Boston Dynamics

“Til we meet again, Atlas” was the closing message on Boston Dynamics’ video on Tuesday that announced the retirement of the hydraulic-powered version of its remarkable bipedal robot.

The words suggested that somewhere down the road, perhaps in a few months or years, the team would unveil a new robot incorporating much of what the team had learned from its work on Atlas.

Turns out we only had to wait 24 hours.

On Wednesday, Boston Dynamics dropped another video (top), this one showing a new, fully electric version of Atlas. The company describes the all-new Atlas as “one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built,” and after watching the footage, it’s hard to argue with that claim.

It says the new version of Atlas is stronger, more dexterous, and more agile, and “able to move in ways that exceed human capabilities.”

Keen to make clear that, just like other tech firms, it’s well and truly immersed in artificial intelligence, Boston Dynamics said it’s equipped Atlas with new AI and machine learning tools, such as reinforcement learning and computer vision, “to ensure they can operate and adapt efficiently to complex real-world situations.”

The company also confirmed plans to commercialize the robot in a similar way to how it has sent its dog-like Spot robot into the workplace.

“This journey will start with Hyundai,” Boston Dynamics said on its website. “In addition to investing in us, the Hyundai team is building the next generation of automotive manufacturing capabilities, and it will serve as a perfect testing ground for new Atlas applications. In the months and years ahead, we’re excited to show what the world’s most dynamic humanoid robot can really do — in the lab, in the factory, and in our lives.”

We only have 25 seconds of video showing the new Atlas, but it’s enough to see that it’s going to give other humanoid robots from the likes of Tesla and Apptronik a real run for their money.

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Trevor Mogg
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