ATLAS robot performs household chores, but don’t expect it to clean your dirty floor
We are still a long way off when considering robots as full time servants or butlers for our laid back life. Many robotics companies are pursuing this ultimate goal and IHMC are not far behind. The Florida-based company has been funded by Google for the development of ATLAS robot which will be used in disaster struck areas in the future. But, what about the times when it is sitting around free? It can be a good butler and servant for your home. Yes, the six feet tall semi-autonomous robot was tested for a new code as a part of the calibration program to do household chores.
ATLAS robot looks fit for a war scene or some heavy duty tasks, but the developers also want to explore the nimble side of this robot to do simple tasks too. The ultimate aim is to test the robot’s movement in complex situations and make it error-free for D-Day like situations. Keeping in mind that this is a semi-autonomous robot, making is do cleaning and other tasks seems like and ordeal. The operator might be better-off doing these task himself rather than toying around with the robot itself.
Developers wanted the robot to learn how to move, so they made it do household cleaning tasks
As I said, the whole exercise is about developing new algorithms to test the robots reaction in real-world situations. There are some new bug fixes which enable ATLAS to lean forward to pick objects or sweep the floor. According to John Carff, ATLAS robot operator at IHMC, he commands the robot to do a specific task through the UI of and then the robot tells back its plan to do so. If John finds it appropriate, ATLAS is commanded to go ahead with the task.
For example, grabbing a bottle on the floor. As the robot gets better at doing the task it will be automated to do so on its own. It is just about more learning and evolution, just like everything else on this planet.
ATLAS won’t be your personal assistant robot or anything of that sorts in the near future, but developers at IHMC are definitely preparing it for adverse situations like a Word War or some major natural calamity.