He was designed to save lives in disaster zones (like Fukushima). But
while this Tin Man has a heart, he lacks a brain. In December, seven
teams of scientists from top institutions, including MIT and Virginia
Tech, will compete to code the bot for action. Each team will send its
own Atlas into Darpa’s trials—eight tasks that will test his ability to
navigate degraded terrain, drive a utility vehicle, and enter buildings.
“We designed Atlas to facilitate programming, but we expect Darpa to
make the competition challenging,” says Marc Raibert, president of
Boston Dynamics, Atlas’ maker. Here’s the skinny on the massive bot.
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