Google’s Boston Dynamics owns a robot that can imitate the pose from the movie Karate Kid.
The Atlas robot developed by Boston Dynamics, a subsidiary of Google has already shown it can be capable of other impressive things such as driving a car, walking over a rough terrain and carrying a fire hose. But this feature might be the most impressive so far. The nickname of the robot is Ian and is capable of acting out a scene from The Karate Kid movie where Daniel is on the beach, practicing the crane kick. Although the feat isn’t very fast it shows off an impressive engineering. Atlas is also capable of climbing with its feet and hands, capability proved to be very useful in tight spaces and difficult terrain.
Even though at the moment Atlas isn’t capable of jumping and performing the kick, it perfectly mimics the crane stance. Being able to set up for the kick is proof that Atlas has astonishing balance for both humans and robots. Jumping is still a difficult task for robots.
Boston Dynamics is reviewing the original design of Atlas. The Atlas 2.0 will be lighter along with being a lot more powerful.
Google showed the improved balance of the robot this week via its Boston Dynamics unit. The robot is currently plugged in a power supply of up to 480 volts, and 15 kilowatts. Looking at the video one might think the cable behind Atlas is used to help the robot maintain its balance but it’s strictly for providing it with its necessary power. It’ll be leaving it behind in the future, though, in the favor of a high capacity battery.
The second generation of the Atlas is also capable of operating autonomously for up to 30 seconds. The reasons for this are the concerns that the robot might be exposed to an electromagnetic pulse and lose contact with the people operating it. This failure could have proved catastrophic in the first generation of the robot but in the second generation model of Atlas that might not be such a big thing.
The U.S. Department of Defense insists they have no interest in using the Atlas as a defensive or offensive weapon.