The DARPA Robotics Challenge put countless robots through a series of real-world challenges that involved driving, drilling holes, and climbing stairs. But let’s be realistic, the only thing any of us really want a robot for is housework, and that’s what ATLAS is finally learning.
The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, or IHMC for short, actually did quite well at the DARPA Robotics Challenge. But as the team prepares for future challenges, they’re putting their multi-million dollar ATLAS humanoid to good use by slowly teaching it to do basic household chores.
ATLAS now knows how to operate a broom and sweep floors; It can fold up random objects like step ladders and move them to a more convenient place five feet away; It also not only knows how to push a vacuum cleaner across a floor, it can even operate its tiny power switch without human intervention.