In this recently released video, Boston Dynamics – funded by DARPA – shows off more of the abilities of the PetMan robot. The prototype seen in the video is the predecessor to the Atlas robot, who will be competing autonomously in an upcoming robotics obstacle challenge.
Notice when he steps up, he begins to lose his balance but quickly regains it, exhibiting eerily-human reflexes and motions.
The soon-to-be SkyNet is supposedly being developed to assist in disaster response, although with the rate of unmanned aerial vehicles, drone boats, and autonomous scout vehicles, rest assured these robots will one day see combat.
From Boston Dynamics and DARPA:
To maneuver over and around the obstacles, the robot exercises capabilities including autonomous decision-making, dismounted mobility and dexterity. The DARPA Robotics Challenge will test these and other capabilities in a series of tasks that will simulate conditions in a dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environment. Teams participating in Tracks B and C of the DRC will compete for access to a modified version of the Atlas robot for use in the 2013 and 2014 live disaster-response challenge events.
For more information on the DRC, please see: http://go.usa.gov/VfA.
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