Boston Dynamics have shown off their first robot since being acquired by Google, and it has one new component that’s very interesting.
On top of its head is a Velodyne HDL-32 LiDAR. They appear to be using it for obstacle mapping, that would then feed into their pathfinding algorithms. Those algorithms are interesting in their own right – a legged robot like this can avoid obstacles of certain sizes by simply stepping over them. The solution space is therefore pretty difficult to distill down into 2 dimensions.
I would love to know more about all of this, but there doesn’t appear to have been a press release and Boston Dynamics are typically pretty secretive given their clients include the US Army.
These guys are doing some very impressive work at the moment and it’ll be interesting to see what technologies come about using these robots as a starting point.