When it comes to robots, it seems no one already imagines frames from the “Terminator”. People have learned how to use robots for the benefit of society, and now under this definition are not only human-like machines, but also those that are simply able to automate a particular process. Huge industrial robots are used in mining enterprises, factories for the assembly of cars and household appliances, and their small counterparts settled in some houses. But is there the most complex robot on earth? And if so, how does it look and work?
How the most complex robot was created
Such a robot was created almost 7 years ago, and it is constantly being modified, so no one has yet been able to surpass it. The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), together with Boston Dynamics, have developed the Atlas humanoid robot. He is well versed in space and has 28 hydraulic joints, many sensors and an advanced control system.
Boston Dynamics says that the operator initially controlled the robot in order to create a three-dimensional map of the area of movement. However, then the humanoid was able to move independently with information already entered into its database about the environment and obstacles along the way.
At first, he really resembled a Skynet sender and could not move without connecting to a controlled computer and power supply. He had a height of 190 centimeters and a weight of 136 kilograms. It took developers a couple of years to release the new version of the Atlas robot, which became the most complex robot on Earth. First, they updated its firmware, and then – and the whole “body”, making the robot even more like a human.
New Atlas Boston Dynamics Robot
The developers added a 3.7 kWh battery to the humanoid robot, which can provide him with an hour of battery life, including moving and some other actions. In addition, engineers had to use lighter materials to create the Atlas enclosure to compensate for the increase in mass by installing a battery. The creators also added a wireless module for communication to the robot and improved its moving parts, increasing the freedom of movement of the humanoid. His height was reduced to 1.5 meters, and weight – to 75 kilograms, so that it was easier to perform maneuvers. Engineers wanted to make the robot as light and durable as possible, many of them were made from scratch by developers from Boston Dynamics and printed on a 3D printer. No one else has it.
Since then, the creators of the robot are committed to improving its navigation system and teaching it new movements that could potentially come in handy when working in difficult conditions. So, last year Atlas learned to turn around in a 360 degree jump – just like a gymnast. How does he manage all this?
Atlas is the only robot on Earth that can perform stunts with an accuracy of 80%.
How is the most complex robot
In addition to the 28 articulated joints with which Atlas moves its arms, legs, back and other parts of its “body”, the robot is also equipped with many motors (their number is kept secret), which set it in motion, receiving power from the built-in battery. How does a robot understand that it, for example, needs to step over an obstacle? To do this, he has stereo vision, lidars, gyroscopes, rangefinders and other sensors that help him navigate in space. All this information goes to the central processor – a very powerful chip that sends a signal to the motors. And they already set the robot in motion. The work of Atlas can be compared with the work of the human brain: if the human eye sees danger, he sends information about it to the brain, and from there a command is given, for example, to dodge the body or move to the side.
Atlas has one of the most compact mobile hydraulic systems in the world. Atlas can deliver the required power to any of its 28 hydraulic connections through dedicated engines, valves and a hydraulic power pack. That is why he is so fervently engaged in parkour, runs, somersaults – no other robot is capable of this. And since no one produces analogues, Boston Dynamics is forced to make most components from scratch.
For several years, the robot was provided with an advanced control system, thanks to which it knows a lot of movements. It takes 0.5 seconds to plan each movement – during this time the robot analyzes the space around itself (from the sensors), weighs itself (evaluating whether there is enough power to lift the body and overcome the obstacle) and makes a decision. Interestingly, the engineers managed to teach the robot how to use hands to balance the body like a human.
The maximum speed of the Atlas robot is 1.5 m / s or 5.4 km / h, which is comparable to the speed of a person walking.
It seemed to some in our Telegram chat that the robot possessed intelligence, but this is not so. Its software was completely written by engineers who can control the robot using macros (for example, make it run, crouch, take a step and so on). That is, it is either controlled “from the remote control” or simply executes programmed commands. Teams are already being transformed into micro actions and limb algorithms to provide these movements. The humanoid is controlled using a robotic operating system (ROS – Robotics Operating System). Most of the extensions for it are written in the programming languages C ++ and Python. True, this information was not officially confirmed – Boston Dynamics holds a lot of secrets. Indeed, this is the most complex robot in the world.
Why robots are needed
Boston Dynamics plans to add artificial intelligence to the robot, and there it is still possible to react to teams nearby. Of course, you can write down a set of phrases and embed them, but these are some kind of “innovation for the sake of innovation”, which is now even in your smart column. Here the scale is completely different.
Initially, Altas was created for rescue operations after man-made or natural disasters. For example, to eliminate the consequences after the tsunami and the explosion of a nuclear power plant, as happened in Japan in 2011. But every year there are more and more spheres of its application, and who knows – maybe in 20 years such Altas will meet you at the reception at the hotel. Or used as a replacement for soldiers in the army. Although … the first option is better.