Feeds

Terminator-style robot busts leg in martial arts demo mishap

I’ll be back... but not until December

High performance access to file storage

Hong Kong University robotics researchers ended up with egg on their faces today when their new $2m walking robot tripped over and broke its leg while trying to strut its funky stuff at its first public performance.

HKU’s prize robot – called Atlas and created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-off Boston Dynamics – was being shown off after the university acquired the mechanical man in a bid to compete against six rival establishments around the world to be the first to get the 'droid working fully.

Boston Dynamics Atlas at Hong Kong Uni

Atlas before the accident

US government research agency DARPA launched its Robotics Challenge earlier this year, and Boston Dynamics began shipping Atlases to participants this summer.

The HKU boffins in charge of the 1.9m tall, 150kg robot - one of only seven built and the first Atlas shipped to Asia - were chuffed to have managed to get the robot’s head, hands and body working in harmony, and had arranged the demonstration to show off their success to the media.

The smug scientists programmed the piston-packing poser to peform a series of killer tai chi moves, the South China Morning Post reports.

But right at the end of the manoeuvres the ambulatory android lost its balance and toppled over, snapping its ankle on impact.

Once they fix Atlas's ankle, the HKU Advanced Robotics Laboratory team will meet rivals from MIT, Lockheed Martin, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University and others in the Robotics Challenge final in December.

According to Boston Dynamics, Atlas is a high mobility robot designed to negotiate difficult outdoor terrain. It was intended to be able to pick up objects and carry them in its arms. Its articulated, sensor-equipped hands are said to enable Atlas to use tools designed for human use. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels
How the internet of things has deep roots in the English countryside
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.