Boston Dynamics has long been known for developing advanced robots. First of all, she is famous for making amazing robots that look like animals and humans. Once she developed the BigDog robot for the DARPA military authority, then there was the cheetah robot CHEETAH and even the six-legged robot RiSE, which can be used to climb vertical surfaces. This year, a competitor competed at Boston Dynamics, who not only learned to walk and lift a load in December, but also worked in his own way.
The main competitor of Boston Dynamics
Digit was developed by the Oregon State University startup Agility Robotics. It also has two legs and a pair of arms that can lift weights up to 18 kg and can even catch falling objects. He is already credited with a great future in the field of package delivery: and not only that, after all, Agility Robotics recently published a video demonstrating the teamwork between two Atlas robots.
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Robots were able to pull three boxes from one table to another. An Atlas robot took the box and handed it to another in the middle of the path, who then took it to the second table. The test took place in an office with two tables. In order for robots to understand what they have to do, special matrix codes for recognition have been placed on the boxes.
Why robots carry boxes all the time
At the end of the experiment, the robots successfully completed the task. It is not surprising that Agility Robotics has decided to solve such a case, as the company is currently working with Ford on a hybrid parcel delivery project without human intervention. The idea is that the autopilot drives the car itself to the recipient's house, the robot picks up the package, carries it to the door, and returns to its place. Would you accept a package from such a courier? Share in our telegram chat.
“In theory, self-driving cars can move people and goods at the same time. They therefore offer great potential for making delivery even more convenient and efficient. The delivery service can be combined with delivery by throwing parcels between passengers. And as our pilot programs have shown, it is not always convenient for people to leave their homes to pick up parcels, and for companies to open their own delivery services. If we give people the freedom to think less about logistics in the supply chain, they can turn their time and energy into things that really deserve attention, ”said Ken Washington, vice president of research and development this year, CTO Ford.
Digit is based on the platform of the Cassie robot. At the same time, thanks to the presence of a torso, arms and a multitude of sensors, it is more perfect so that it can navigate better in the room. In this way, the robot can move in rooms and stairs that are littered with objects. There is a lidar on his head for the comprehensive tracking of obstacles. In addition to the lidar, Digit also has stereo cameras for observing objects.
LIDAR is a 3D map technology used in self-driving cars (and robots) to estimate distances for objects and display the road in front of them.
The main goal of the developers is, of course, to achieve the same flexibility of movement as with the Boston Dynamics robots. However, there is also a distinct commercial component: the developer of Digit plans to sell robots from 2020. To whom? As an option – for companies operating in the entertainment sector and parcel delivery. For example, it can deliver groceries from restaurants, requiring less living couriers and autonomous robots with wheels.