The PETMAN and Atlas Robots at Boston Dynamics

  • Gabe Nelson
  • Aaron Saunders
  • Robert PlayterEmail author
Reference work entry


In 2008, Boston Dynamics began the development of a series of humanoid robots. The goal was to build bipeds with advanced mobility and dexterity. Our first bipeds, the PETMAN robots, later evolved into three different versions of Atlas. Collectively we programmed these robots to walk at human speeds, cross rock fields, climb stairs and inclines, and negotiate outdoor terrain. We also experimented with augmenting balance using angular momentum. Here we recount the development of these machines and the locomotion behaviors we were able to demonstrate with them.



A large team of exceptional people at Boston Dynamics contributed to this work the majority of which we could not list as authors of this manuscript.

This material is based upon work supported by United States Army RDECOM Acquisition Center contract Nos. W911SR-09-C-006, W91CRB-11-C-0047 & HR0011-12-C-0106


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boston DynamicsWalthamUSA

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