Atlas Unplugged: The Six-Foot-Two Humanoid Robot That Might Just Save Your Life

Steve Ranger | ZD Net | January 21, 2015

From the people who brought you the internet, the latest version of the Atlas robot will be used in its disaster-fighting robotic challenge.  The R&D arm of the US Department of Defense has unveiled the latest version of its humanoid robot.

The new robot, dubbed 'Atlas Unplugged', runs entirely on batteries, is controlled via wireless, and doesn't need a safety tether to hold itself up, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the organisation which also famously played a role in the creation of the internet.  At 6 feet and 2 inches tall and 245 pounds, the upgraded Atlas is 75 percent new - only the lower legs and feet were carried over from the original design for the robot.

Atlas is a key part of DARPA's Robotic Challenge - a competition the agency hopes could develop robots that could respond to natural and man-made disasters - because Atlas is being used by seven of the teams involved in the competition. While their hardware will come from DARPA, teams will need to create the software needed to power Atlas Unplugged.  The robot now carries a 3.7kWh Li-ion battery pack which should provide enough power for one hour of walking, standing, use of tools, and other movements...