The ATLAS robot gets his name from the mythological titan of Greek mythology, who balanced the entire sky on his shoulders, a living manifestation of strength, endurance and balance. This is indeed an apt name for a robot that can march through rough mountain terrain without tripping, constantly balancing itself.
ATLAS is a bi-pedal, humanoid looking robot built to operate in hard terrains. It walks similar to a human, while using its upper arms available for other needs, such as carrying a heavy load or for implementing tasks, such as difficult rescues. When it gets to an especially hard area to cross, it can use its arms to climb rocks and pass through narrow passageways.
It is equipped with 28 interlocking hydraulic joints which give it much freedom to move its hands, arms, legs, feet and upper torso. Its hands come with special sensors for location and photography.
The US government is currently considering the use of the ATLAS robot for speiclized missions such as search and rescue, as it can enter places where humans would have trouble crossing and tirelessly search and report back.