Atlas DRC Robot Now Untethered

The Atlas DRC humanoid robot has lots of new hardware - and is now capable of fully untethered movement.


(DARPA's Atlas DRC robot video)

The most significant changes are to the robot’s power supply and pump. Atlas will now carry an onboard 3.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, with the potential for one hour of “mixed mission” operation that includes walking, standing, use of tools, and other movements. This will drive a new variable-pressure pump that allows for more efficient operation.

“The introduction of a battery and variable-pressure pump into Atlas poses a strategic challenge for teams,” said [DRC Program Manager Gill] Pratt. “The operator will be able to run the robot on a mid-pressure setting for most operations to save power, and then apply bursts of maximum pressure when additional force is needed. The teams are going to have to game out the right balance of force and battery life to complete the course.”

The seven DRC teams using Atlas are scheduled to receive their upgraded robots by the end of January.

For a very early reference to a free-roaming, walking humanoid robot, check out the manufactured wife from an 1896 short story.

Via UPGRADED ATLAS ROBOT TO GO WIRELESS.

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