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Steve Watson | Infowars.com | July 12, 2013

Beware bloodbags: 7ft 4? tall, 330 pound metal beast will eventually act autonomously

DARPA, the technological arm of the Pentagon, unveiled its latest humanoid robot this week, demonstrating how the 7ft 4? tall beast can dodge obstacles and act intelligently to stay upright, even when knocked off balance by heavy weights.

The robot, named ATLAS, presumably after the primordial Titan of astronomy and navigation who held up the celestial sphere, was designed by long time DARPA subsidiary Boston Dynamics.

“Articulated, sensate hands will enable Atlas to use tools designed for human use,” Boston Dynamics says. “Atlas includes 28 hydraulically actuated degrees of freedom, two hands, arms, legs, feet, and a torso.”

The robot’s head encompasses two hi-tech cameras and a laser range finder. At the moment, ATLAS is tethered to an off-board, electric power supply.

A video released by the company, as part of DARPA’s Virtual Robotics Challenge, shows the robot in action:

Six teams of engineers that made it through to the end stages of DARPA’s “competition”, will now all be given ATLAS as it was deemed to be the best robot for potentially “helping” the military.

The teams will ALL work on software algorithms for the robot. A statement on the DARPA website notes: “Like coaches starting with a novice player, the teams now have until late December 2013 to teach ATLAS the moves it will need to succeed.”

DAPRA expects the robot to be able to complete tasks including breaking through a wall, driving a car, removing debris blocking doors, climbing a ladder, finding and closing a valve, and connecting a fire hose.

Whichever teams of engineers perform the best in December will then be given the funding to further work on ATLAS, with the view of having the robot perform all the expected tasks autonomously, that is “intelligently” without supervision, during the challenge finals in late 2014.

The engineer teams are based at:

– The Florida Institute of Human & Machine Cognition in Pensacola, Fla.
– Worcester Polytecnic Institute in Massachusetts
– Massachusetts Institute of Technology
– TracLabs in Webster, Tex.
– The Jet Propulsion Laboratory
– Virginia Tech

In the video DARPA demostrates the advancement of ATLAS from its predecessor, the PETMAN robot, which not only looked human but also sweats to regulate body temperature.

A recent video showing PETMAN in action depicted the robot dressed up in a post-apocalyptic chem-bio suit with sensors embedded to detect hazardous chemicals.

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