Boston Dynamics is the robotics R&D division of X, owned by Alphabet. The last time we heard from them was about their bipedal walker called “Atlas.” Only a few days back, on the 27th of February, they published a new video on YouTube to feature their latest model, the “Handle.” Unlike previous robot models from Boston Dynamics, Handle is equipped with wheels and can move in a very agile way, including the passage over uneven terrain and making jumps. While there is no evidence for military usage, I don’t see how private industries would benefit from such features.
In their video description they wrote, “Handle is a research robot that stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4 feet vertically. It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge. Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles found in the quadruped and biped robots we build, but with only about 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.”
Story pitched by news scout Pupu Liang.
Thanks for that!
Photo credit: Boston Dynamics