PUBLISHED: 21:30 EST, 12 July 2013 | UPDATED: 01:38 EST, 13 July 2013
Cutting edge: Atlas is one of the most advanced robots to have been developed
At 6ft 2in tall and weighing 330lb Atlas is a formidable figure. And with 28 hydraulically actuated joints and stereo vision, it is one of the most advanced robots ever.
Although the robot, designed by DARPA and Boston Dynamics, is built to help respond to disasters, such as the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan in 2011, it looks like it could easily star in the Terminator films.
Its potential use in war seems more likely considering the team behind it also designed BigDog, the robotic dog due to be used by the Marines.
The robot’s 28 hydraulic joints can replicate most human moves and its hands, provided by iRobot and Sandia National Labs, can surpass them.
A light-based radar stereo camera in Atlas is the same detection system used by autonomous vehicles such as Google’s self-driving car, according to ExtremeTech.
Although it is currently linked to an external power supply the robot has the ability to run off its own power, leaving it free to roam.
This ability will be useful when considering the robot’s main purpose.
Atlas has been designed to be able to go into disaster zones where it would be unsafe to send people. It can handle rocky terrain and the flexibility of its hands will aid rescues.
However, its skills could just as easily be put to use on the battlefield, where they would be stronger and more accurate than a soldier.
Watch Atlas being put through its paces:
The only thing the robot is currently missing is a brain, but more than a dozen teams of engineers are preparing to compete for the chance to provide it.
At the DARPA Robotics Challenge, each team will load software into Atlas and test it in a series of disaster response trials.
The team that provides the best software will receive funding from DARPA and the chance to compete in the finals of the contest next year, with a $2 million prize fund.