DARPA Robotics Challenge: ATLAS gets into Ranger vehicle with style

DARPA Robotics Challenge: ATLAS gets into Ranger vehicle with style

Our first approach for getting into the car
involved grasping the car’s frame and then stepping into the car with the right leg.
This approach wasn’t robust and while the robot was able to reach the seat’s height,
we were unable to get it to enter the car. Since we lacked autonomous perception and
grasping capabilities to perform the task in this manner, we decided to think outside
the box, wrap the arms around the car’s frame, lift the robot’s legs and swing into the car.
We ensured that the robot laid flat on the seat while getting the arms inside the car
and then performed a sit-up motion that ends with the robot facing the steering wheel.
Due to friction issues between ATLAS and the car we added some arm and leg motions that
greatly improve the repeatability of the motion sequence.
We added an optional motion to press the gas pedal at the end of the sequence in order
to secure additional points for crossing the first gate with the car. While getting into the car the robot
randomly presses the reverse button… causing unexpected results.


  1. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Just keep in mind that we're talking about a six-foot-two, 330-pound robot that can swing into your car from a window.

  2. Thanks for the reply, i hope you understand i didn't want to bash your work, because you guys did an excelent job! I just love seeing robots evolve! So don't mind my last comment, i was just trolling a bit. :p

  3. Quite the contrary, I'm very happy to accept any comment. We're very proud of our work 🙂
    I believe it was one of the most creative approaches to getting into the car, maybe also the most "elegant". You can check other approaches on the DRC Gallery page (link on video desc.)

  4. How about a seat that ATLAS can sit backwards into which then rotates towards the front of the vehicle?
    A problem with that idea is that ATLAS would only be able to enter vehicles meeting such a design.

  5. so what if he stands on the drivers side ,faces away from the car and gets in backwards then rotates right to drive?

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