Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Printed Robot Goes for an Unnerving Jog in the Park

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

Many of us are sharing our living spaces with robots these days, whether they’re named Siri, Alexa, or DJ Roomba. We’re not quite at the Jetsons level yet, though, of having humanoid robot housekeepers seeing to our every need – but we’re getting close, and a look at Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot can show you just how close. The Atlas project has been in progress for a few years, with 3D printing playing a large role in the robot’s development, and recently the company released a video of the humanoid robot jogging through a park, jumping over logs, and looking eerily human.

It’s a little bit terrifying – not something you’d necessarily want to see if you were out for a casual run in the park yourself. The 1.5-meter-tall robot gets going at a pretty good clip, and it runs smoothly, not clunkily or lumbering like an old-school movie robot. If it was coming after you, you’d be right to be very concerned indeed. Its only weak point does seem to be obstacles – it can jump over logs, but it has to stop, gather itself, and spring with both legs, slowing it down enough for its prey to possibly make an escape. So remember that – if Atlas is after you any time in the near future, head for terrain littered with obstacles. You may have a chance.

Horrifyingly – I mean, impressively, Atlas can also keep its balance after being pushed and can get up again after falling down. Sweet dreams! I don’t mean to imply that Atlas is going to kill us all…but that’s been the general first impression of most of the public, judging from the comments on the YouTube video.

“It can murder hundreds of people for money,” one commenter declared.

“Where is the running away crowd?” another demanded.

(If you want some entertainment, read all of the comments – from claims of the Second Coming to “Hillary should have won,” they’re pretty amusing.)

Whether you’re of the belief that this is a cool invention or that it’s a sign of the apocalypse – or both – there’s no denying that 3D printing is to thank/blame for a good part of it. The technology was used to make the 75-kg Atlas compact and lightweight, with a high strength-to-weight ratio. “Compact” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you see it racing across the park, but considering its many capabilities, it’s remarkably small. It has 28 joints, LiDAR and stereo vision, and can lift 11 kg. So it may not be able to pick up a full-grown human…but hand it a laser blaster and it won’t need to.

Fears of a robot apocalypse aside, Atlas is a remarkable example of where technology has gotten us, and how 3D printing has played a role in transforming robots from bulky, clunky, heavy beasts into streamlined, lightweight, agile killing machines, erm, creations that can run and jump as well as or better than some humans. Atlas is still a work in progress, which is both exciting and terrifying, as are Boston Dynamics’ animal robots (that’s right, Atlas has a dog… which served as inspiration for a recent episode of Black Mirror, but a dog!). It may not be long until we have helpful robot housekeepers…or pitiless overlords. Only time will tell.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Images: Boston Dynamics]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Bioprinting from FluidForm Backed by New Jersey’s Biggest Healthcare Network

So, You’ve Been Tasked with Researching and Selecting a 3D Printer for Your Company.



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

Turn IPA Waste Into Clean, Reusable IPA On Site

3D print businesses that use IPA in post-production can easily accumulate gallons of used IPA. Which will create a new task of proper disposal of these chemicals. Used IPA cannot...

Sponsored

Start 3D Printing Pro with BuildBee’s Slicing Software

The new era of digital globalization has sparked all sorts of innovative design, especially in 3D printing, where the production of geometries that were expensive to produce or simply not...

Sponsored

How a Nail Polish and Car Paint Startup Succeeded in the 3D Printing Industry

Not that long ago, two people funded and built a resin production startup by trial and error, subsequently catching the attention of a large investor. It all started with UV...

Sponsored

No rent! No deposit! After-sales service! SLA Manufacturer Vistar Launches a New Cooperation Model for 3D Printing Service Provider

In recent years, with the maturity and popularity of SLA 3D printing technology, more and more industries and customers are adopting this technology, from prototypes to shoe models, from dental...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.