Humanoid Robots Are Coming of Age

The robots are becoming more and more advanced and are almost ready to be put to work in warehouses and factories.

Humanoid Robots Are Coming of Age

It was eight years ago.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Pentagon organized a

Painful to watch contest

The robots struggled (and failed) to do a variety of tasks that humans perform, such as opening doors, driving golf carts, or operating power tools. They stumbled and stumbled through the footage.

Darpa Robotics Challenge

Soon went viral


The descendants of these hapless robots today are much more graceful and capable. Humanoids are being developed by several startups that claim they could be employed in factories and warehouses in a matter of years.

Jerry Pratt

In 2015, as a senior researcher at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Florida, she led a team to second place in the Darpa Challenge. He is a cofounder at

Figure A

Today, announced a $70 million investment in a company that builds a humanoid robotic system for warehouse work.

Pratt believes that robots could complete Darpa's challenges today in a quarter the time it took for his robot to finish the course. There would also be less accidents. He says that a number of new technologies have emerged in recent years.

The development of computer vision has enabled more advanced computer vision.

Machine learning

Over the last decade, it has become easier for machines like robots to perform complex tasks such as climbing stairs or grasping objects. Power-dense


As a result, electric vehicles have made it possible for a robot to be powered up to the point where it can move its legs fast enough to maintain dynamic balance, i.e., correct itself if it slips, or makes a mistake, just like humans.

Pratt claims that his company's robot has taken its first steps in a mocked up warehouse in Sunnyvale. California. Brett Adcock is the CEO of Figure. He believes it's possible to make humanoids for the same price as a car if there is enough demand.

Adcock's prediction is correct, and the field of robotics will soon reach a critical moment. You are probably familiar with the

dancing Atlas humanoid robots

They have been getting YouTube likes since several years. Boston Dynamics makes them.

A pioneer in legged locomotion

These robots, which were used in the Darpa competition, show that it is possible to build capable robots that look like humans. These robots were expensive - the original Atlas cost more than a million dollars - and lacked software that would have made them useful.

Apptronik Astra robot.


Other companies, including Figure, are betting on the maturation of humanoid robotics. Other companies include






Elon Musk visited the Darpa Robotics Challenge, which was first held in 2015, as Tesla's CEO. Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, visited the original Darpa Robotics Challenge in 2015.

Jonathan Hurst

Professor at Oregon State University, co-founder of

Agility Robotics

, also attended the Darpa Challenge to demonstrate a walking robot that he had built. Agility has worked on legged robotics for some time, but Hurst said the company took a physics first approach to locomotion rather than copying mechanics from human limbs. The legs of its humanoid robots look like they were inspired by ostriches.