By now, most of us are familiar with Boston Dynamics’ work. They brought us the terrifying giraffe bot and Spot, the robot dog.
Last month, another new robot was leaked, and now we’re getting an official look at what Boston Dynamics calls “Handle”, a wheeled humanoid robot. It’s 6.5-feet tall, travels at speeds of up to 9 miles per hour, and can jump up to 4 feet vertically. It uses electric power to operate both its hydraulic and electric actuators, and can travel up to 15 miles between charges.
The leaked footage of Handle already revealed the robot’s amazing jumping abilities, as it easily leaped over an obstacle without having to slow down at all. But the extended cut shows off even more of the two-legged robot’s capabilities. Handle rolls down a small flight of steps like they’re nothing more than a ramp.
As with almost all of Boston Dynamics’ creations, there are no plans to put Handle into production just yet. Instead, the robot is yet another research project built to demonstrate that when designing bots, copying every aspect of a human isn’t always the best approach. Handle might stand on two legs, but by balancing on a pair of wheels, the robot can hit a top speed of 9 miles per hour and jump 4 feet vertically, despite weighing hundreds of pounds.
The robot’s unique design allows it to navigate a world that’s been mostly designed for creatures that walk on two legs while giving it much greater speed on flat surfaces. Handle was also built with just ten motorized joints, making it much simpler than other Boston Dynamic robots like Atlas.
The company says Handle is designed to carry things, hence the name, but with that kind of go-anywhere ability, it seems equipped for any kind of task — including Judgement Day.
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