Google-owned robotics lab Boston Dynanics has debuted new video of its 6’2″ Atlas robot, also known as “Ian.” The hulking mass of metal, which weighs a whopping 330 lbs, has been programmed to recreate a key scene from the 1984 film The Karate Kid. Ian is part of an ongoing robotics project that seeks to create automatons that can replace humans in hazardous roles like firefighting. Ian has already demonstrated a variety of abilities, including traversing difficult and uneven terrain, carrying objects such as firehoses, and even to get into a car and drive it. It can also use both its hands and feet to climb over the most treacherous obstacles.
For fans of the cult film the Karate Kid, it is a familiar pose. However, in the latest video from the US military team developing a two legged fighting robot, the buildup to ‘crane kick’ is seen in a new way. The researchers taught the robot to stand on one leg – recreating a key scene from the film in the process. The Atlas robot created by Google-owned firm Boston Dynamics is a formidable figure at 6ft 2in tall and weighing in at 330lb. The robot boasts 28 hydraulically actuated joints and stereo vision, and is one of the most advanced robots ever created. However, it’s not just karate – Ian has another trick up his sleeve – software written by the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Interaction which allows him to drive a car. ‘To achieve this level of maneuverability in robots, researchers at IHMC look toward nature,’ the team say. ‘Inspired by the speed of cheetahs, the endurance of horses, the maneuverability of monkeys, and the versatility of humans, IHMC researchers are on a quest to develop legged robots that are fast, efficient, and graceful, with the mobility required to access many of the same places that humans can.’