Boston Dynamics has showcased a new capability of the Atlas robot—now this humanoid robot can unpack and move automotive shock absorbers. Soon, it may transition from being solely a research project to finding application in manufacturing.
The automation of car production is well-suited for robots, involving large work volumes, handling of heavy components, high injury risks, and demanding precision and reliability in operations. Numerous industrial robots specializing in specific tasks are already in use on modern assembly lines. However, there are tasks that are challenging to automate using strict algorithms, and this is where humanoid robots can come into play.
When Elon Musk introduced the Tesla Optimus robot, he stated that they would be utilized in Tesla's electric car factories. Additionally, the startup Figure plans to test its solutions at a BMW factory. Boston Dynamics, owned by Hyundai, may also find application for its robots in automobile manufacturing: currently, Atlas remains primarily a research project, yet in its current state, it stands out as one of the most promising projects among humanoid robots. Applying Atlas in the commercial sector has the potential to justify years of academic research.
In January 2023, Boston Dynamics published a video of the same Atlas throwing a bag of tools at a person and doing a somersault like a gymnast.