Boston Dynamics wasted little time in naming a successor to its Atlas robot, lining up a fully electric replacement it believes offers better commercialisation potential than its decade-old, hydraulically powered machine.

In a blog, Boston Dynamics explained the electric Atlas is stronger than the original with a greater range of movement.

It noted the hydraulic Atlas “could already lift and manoeuvre a wide variety of heavy, irregular objects”, a capability forming the basis for further development in the electric robot which includes trying “several new gripper variations” to match diverse customer needs.

Boston Dynamics stated the replacement was designed to be “stronger, more dexterous and more agile”, with the company confident it can deliver a “robot uniquely capable of tackling dull, dirty and dangerous tasks”.

The company stated parent Hyundai would be hands on in terms of developing the electric Atlas robot, with the South Korean company’s automotive business set to be among the first to test its capabilities and potential uses.

Boston Dynamics stated working outside its own facilities was key to developing its Spot and Stretch robots, which it has had greater success in commercialising than the hydraulic Atlas model.

It plans to mimic its strategy with Stretch by “partnering with a small group of innovative customers” to “test and iterate Atlas applications over the next few years”.

“This is the first look at a real product, but it certainly isn’t the last”.