Skip to main content

Darpa's Atlas robot is now wireless

Brace yourselves, the Terminator is coming.

Teams using the DARPA-developed Atlas robot (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) got their first look at the newly upgraded system.

The upgraded Atlas is 75 per cent new - only the lower legs and feet were carried over from the original design.

Lighter materials allowed for the inclusion of a battery and a new pump system with only a modest increase in overall weight; the upgraded robot stands 6’2” tall and weighs 110 kilograms.

The new Atlas, dubbed 'Atlas unplugged,' is now wireless and its battery can last for over an hour. During that time he can walk on his own two legs, use tools and help humans in some disastrous situations.

"The new Atlas is 75 per cent new. Only 25 per cent of the parts that are in there are from the old Atlas", said Gill Pratt, program manager at DARPA Robotics Challenge.

Atlas will now carry an on board 3.7kWh Li-ion battery pack, with the potential for one hour of “mixed mission” operation that includes walking, standing, use of tools, and other movements.

"The introduction of a battery and variable-pressure pump into Atlas poses a strategic challenge for teams," said Pratt.

At the same time, the stakes have increased as the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals approach.

A total of $3.5 million in prizes will now be awarded to the top three finishers in the final event which will be held June 5-6, 2015, at Fairplex in Pomona, California. Aside from the previously announced $2 million grand prize, DARPA plans to award $1 million to the runner-up and $500,000 to the third-place team.

To see the new and improved Atlas in action, check the video above.