Boston Dynamics’ newest robot is six feet tall, lifts 100 pounds, and jumps up to four feet



Boston Dynamics’ newest robot is six feet tall, lifts 100 pounds, and jumps up to four feet

Boston Dynamics Officially Unveils Its Wheel-Leg Robot: “Best of Both Worlds”
Boston Dynamics’ Handle is a humanoid robot on wheels, and it’s amazing.
When Boston Dynamics introduced its massively upgraded Atlas last year, we said the robot could “do things we’ve never seen other robots doing before, making it one of the most advanced humanoids in existence.” But now, after seeing the video that Boston Dynamics just released to officially unveil its newest creation, Handle, a sort of Atlas on wheels, we’ll just say it again: Handle can do things we’ve never seen other robots doing before, making it one of the most advanced humanoids in existence.

“Wheels are a great invention,” Marc Raibert, founder and president of Boston Dynamics, tells IEEE Spectrum, adding that Handle, which uses a wheel-leg hybrid system, “can have the best of both worlds.”
AutomatonRoboticsHumanoid Robots
Boston Dynamics Officially Unveils Its Wheel-Leg Robot: “Best of Both Worlds”

By Erico Guizzo and Evan Ackerman
Posted 27 Feb 2017 | 19:40 GMT
Boston Dynamics’ Handle robot
Image: Boston Dynamics via YouTube
Boston Dynamics’ Handle is a humanoid robot on wheels, and it’s amazing.
When Boston Dynamics introduced its massively upgraded Atlas last year, we said the robot could “do things we’ve never seen other robots doing before, making it one of the most advanced humanoids in existence.” But now, after seeing the video that Boston Dynamics just released to officially unveil its newest creation, Handle, a sort of Atlas on wheels, we’ll just say it again: Handle can do things we’ve never seen other robots doing before, making it one of the most advanced humanoids in existence.

“Wheels are a great invention,” Marc Raibert, founder and president of Boston Dynamics, tells IEEE Spectrum, adding that Handle, which uses a wheel-leg hybrid system, “can have the best of both worlds.”

You probably saw footage of Handle a few weeks ago, when Raibert gave a talk in California and someone filmed the screen with a phone and posted it on YouTube. When we asked Boston Dynamics about the leaked video, the company said it wasn’t ready to discuss the new robot and suggested that we wait. Now, finally, we have more details about Handle, and Raibert even answered a few of our questions on why and how they built the robot.

Boston Dynamics says Handle is an “R&D robot,” so although it can perform a number of useful tasks, like carrying 45-kilogram crates, it probably won’t be commercially available anytime soon. Handle has a range of 24 kilometers on a battery charge, which is much more than what it would be able to cover with traditional bipedal robot locomotion. Using wheels also helps reduce the number of degrees of freedom, and the company says Handle is “significantly less complex” than some of the quadruped and biped robots that preceded it.

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