Get a Handle on this Dexterous Robot

Boston Dynamics’ robot has a keen understanding of its body, which makes its movements lifelike.

 

Talk about an agile robot. While most bots are still slow and stiff during operation, Boston Dynamic’s new Handle robot is able to leverage the momentum of its own body to move in ways that are remarkably lifelike.

Handle, first revealed in January, is a massive, multi-wheeled machine able to move dynamically. We’re talking extreme agility, including jumping over hurdles and landing on its wheels in addition to going down stairs and lifting a single leg, according to an article on Recode. Thanks to its dexterity and ability to carry a payload of 100 pounds, Boston Dynamics, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, believes Handle can play a role in warehouse applications, carrying items from one part of a facility to another. By doing so, companies can save time and money on warehouse operations as well as protect their human workers from a life of chronic back problems, the Recode article said.

While Handle shows promise, Boston Dynamics still has some work to do before the robot can hit the warehouse. Industrial robots have to meet pretty serious safety standards, and the researchers will need to figure a way to have Handle make its movements explicitly known to human operators as it makes it moves, the article explained.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t want to get in Handle’s way.

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