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Atlas ­nplugged: DARPA Challenge Robot Gets Major Makeover

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Atlas Unplugged, the upgraded version of Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot.

The Boston Dynamics robot being used in the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge got a makeover.

Credit: DARPA

Teams headed for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Robotics Challenge finals in June who were using Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot have had to do without their robots recently, as the company took them back and rebuilt them into a "75-percent new" robot dubbed Atlas Unplugged.

Only the feet and lower legs of the original Atlas robot, which measures six feet, two inches high and weighs more than 300 pounds, remain the same. Most of the new additions are focused around onboard energy storage and energy efficiency.

In addition, Atlas Unplugged no longer needs to be tethered to an external power source. The arms of the robot also have been redesigned, emerging lower down on the torso in a configuration that gives it greater strength to help it get back up should it fall over.

Other new features include wireless communication and a newer, quieter hydraulic pump.

Robotics Challenge teams who were using the Atlas expected to receive their new versions by today and will have to adapt the software they were using on the original robot to the new chassis.

From Computerworld
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