Boston Dynamics

8 stories
Learning machines
MIT online course will teach you to design a robot that moves
Credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT
Walking, jumping, running robots like Big Dog and Atlas are equal parts amazing and terrifying. And look how they've grown: MIT's Cheetah bot, once a tethered machine on a treadmill, can now bound across an open field unchained. A few makers of the sophisticated moving robots that are starting to pop up in public more and more are going to be sharing their wisdom with the masses. Starting today, MIT's online course on moving robots is open for business. Read More
M&A
A look at all of Google’s acquisitions in Boston
Military robot maker Boston Dynamics has been among Google's acquisitions in Massachusetts (image courtesy of Boston Dynamics)

Up until nine months ago, Google had acquired just four companies in the Boston area (or five, if you count the company’s “acquisition” of Biz Stone/Genius Labs). One of those was the huge pickup of ITA Software, of course, but little else apparently enthralled Google in Boston during the company's first decade-and-a-half.

Read More

Robot futures
MIT conference looks at robotics breakthroughs — and big challenges ahead
Two of the "AlphaDog" robots made by Boston Dynamics, designed to carry equipment for the military. The Waltham company was acquired by Google last December.
Odds are good that no one at yesterday's "Computing the Future" symposium at MIT, organized to mark the 50th anniversary of computer science and artificial intelligence research at the school, imagined they'd be watching a black-and-white video clip of Julia Child deftly slicing potatoes. But Matt Mason of Carnegie Mellon University showed it to make a point: technology is still far behind humans when it comes to perceiving and interacting with the world. Mason and other speakers who focused on the robotics field emphasized how many problems remain to be solved. Perhaps the biggest laugh of yesterday morning's session came during another video clip, when the AlphaDog robot from Boston Dynamics, above, was pushed by an employee trying to test its stability — and promptly rolled over and smashed into a parked car. "That's the new guy's car," another employee noted. Read More
Baxter is the coolest...
Rethink Robotics throws a bunch of kids into a pit with robots ... and everyone has a good time
Baxter
Yesterday was "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" — better known as "Take Your Kid to Work Day" — and the folks over at Rethink Robotics wanted to prove they are the coolest moms and pops on the block. So, they let their kids hang out with Baxter, the robot. Read More