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Meet ATLAS

DARPA one step closer to unleashing Terminator

If the Terminator had a child with Johnny 5 from “Short Circuit,” they would produce an odd mechanical robot that would resemble C-3PO - but scarier.

Got that image?

Good. Because it’s real.

And you can thank Boston Dynamics for the nightmare robot that will haunt your dreams for the next week - even though its primary objective is supposedly assisting humans in disasters.

Created for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as part of their Robotics Challenge (DRC), the robot’s name is ATLAS. And although the robot looks extremely powerful and strong, it doesn’t look ready to hold the world on its shoulders just yet.

DARPA’s challenge is meant to generate groundbreaking research and development in the hope that robots will one day work in tandem with people.

In the official DARPA video, the robot is seen navigating over holes, jumping down short drops and getting smashed by a 20 pound weight. Its eyes look like binoculars (just like Johnny 5’s) and the rest of the giant body resembles an older model Terminator. DARPA’s webpage dedicated to ATLAS describes the current stage of the robot as a physical shell for the software brains and nerves that scientists are working on.

ATLAS isn’t seen lifting test dummies off the ground or moving rubble, but that is because it’s still in its “training phase.” Yes, that’s right. Scientists with Boston Dynamics in Waltham, Mass., have until December to train ATLAS so that it can pass the DRC trials.

ATLAS is 6’2", 330 pounds. That’s more than the combined weight of David Ortiz and Eva Longoria.

More on ATLAS.
DARPA’s video

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Email: tibbetts.meredith@stripes.com

Twitter: @mjtibbs

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