Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) definitively is on everything these days. On Japan’s New Economy Summit, Alphabet-owned SCHAFT just showcased its new bipedal robot that can climb stairs, balance and walk over rough surfaces. They are also preparing to sell Boston Dynamics which is one of the most well-known robotic firms that Alphabet owns.
SCHAFT operates under Alphabet Lab X (formerly Google X) and most popular for winning DARPA robotics challenge. Alphabet owns too many companies, but one of them is SCHAFT, a robotic lab created at the University Of Tokyo, that has been particularly showing off their new “toys” at the 2016 New Economy Summit in Japan.
The name of this robot hasn’t been revealed yet, and at first sight it doesn’t look too innovative as there are many robots that can climb stairs and so, but, how many robots can walk across rooms getting up and down stairs? Sounds like an easy task, but the only one that has achieved this is the SCHAFT team that went for it.
At its first public appearance, the robot showed that it can start walking without losing its balance; it can also carry about 60 kg (about 130 pounds) weights, and vacuum the surface the robot is walking in.
In 2005, Boston Dynamics along with Foster-Miller, the NASA jet propulsion lab, and Harvard University Concord Field Station made the dynamic stable quadruple bot named BigDog.
BigDog is 3 feet (0.91 m) long, stands 2.5 feet (0.76 m) tall, and weighs 110 kg (240 pounds), about the size of a small mule. It is capable of traversing difficult terrain, running at 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h), carrying 340 pounds (150 kg), and climbing a 35-degree incline.
Under the same company in 2014, it was released a bipedal robot known as Atlas, that is a more human resembling robot with hydraulic limbs. Made out of aluminum and titanium, stands approximately 6 feet tall, weighs 150kg (330 pounds), and it’s illuminated by blue LEDs.
A growing technology
Every day the technology is growing really fast, and the first “step” has already been taken. This is the major robotic company’s advance. Walking is a common task for human beings, but to emulate it on a robot has taken a long time from researching how to recreate perfectly so this was the first part in making a more humanoid robot. Don’t be surprised if tomorrow we could find out that there is a human-robot being released in a near future.