Here is a fascinating interview, with new video included of their robots in development, featuring Boston Dynamics at TechCrunch Disrupt, London, 5th-6th December 2016. The balance capabilities of these robots is quite astounding. It’s a long video, but well worth watching.
A new, and as yet unnamed Google robot, has appeared in a new “sneak peek” video on YouTube (see below). The robot, which is about one meter tall, looks just like a walking pair of trousers . . . possibly inspired by Wallace and Grommit’s Wrong Trousers?
The video was recorded by an audience member at a New Economic Summit, NEST 2016, in Tokyo. The robot, which has been under development for some time, appears to be capable of carrying heavy loads, and has superb balance.
I was sad to read that Google is selling Boston Dynamics, the robotics company they purchased in 2013. It seems that progress has not been quick enough for Google who were hoping to produce a marketable robot in the next few years.
Boston Dynamic’s recent video, showing the amazing balance capability of their Atlas robot, apparently upset Google HQ because of the rather negative response it attracted. (See the video here.)
According to the Guardian, potential buyers include Amazon and Toyota. Atlas would be an obvious choice for Amazon’s massive warehouses, but could they be thinking of producing a home robot of some kind? Popular Science said “Last fall, Toyota announced it was investing $1 billion into robotics in Silicon Valley, under the tutelage of a former DARPA program manager. Toyota’s quietly been in the robotics business since the 1970s, designing robots for everything from manufacturing to personal assistance.”
Here is a video from 2012 showing Toyota’s “robot quartet”!
If Google really has lost interest in Boston Dynamics, perhaps to spend more Dollars on their self driving cars, then it will be good for a new company to give Atlas the confidence he needs to make his way in the world … and please stop hitting him with a hockey stick!