Say hello to Pet-Proto. Manufactured by Boston Dynamics which makes robot versions of everything from fleas to horses, it’s a humanoid robot that can run, jump and climb over objects — probably a damn site better than you’re able.
Pet-Proto has the skill set required to take part in DARPA’s upcoming Robotics Challenge, which will see humanoid robots battle it out in a variety of tests, from driving cars, through fixing industrial equipment, to traversing assault courses like the one in the video. After 27 months of gruelling tests, the winning team — from a field including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs, MIT, TORC Robotics and more — will get a $US2 million prize.
But Pet-Proto won’t be competing. In fact, it’s a precursor to a bigger, better humanoid robot called ATLAS, which will be used by the teams taking part in the challenge as a testbed for more advanced robotics and software. Other teams will take a more ambitious route and shun Boston Dynamics’ testbed option altogether though — so expect to see some even more exciting creations in the near future. [DARPA via WIRED]