Boston Dynamics has officially unveiled Handle, a research robot that combines the efficiency of wheels with the versatility of legs. We first saw leaked footage of Handle last month, but Boston Dynamics has released new details of the robot and a video that shows some new tricks.
Here’s a description of Handle from Boston Dynamics YouTube video atop this page:
“[Handle] 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 work efficiently on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.”
As is with other robots from Boston Dynamics, there aren’t any plans to commercialize Handle yet. Handle is strictly for research at this point to explore the idea of combining legs and wheels when building robots.
Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert has called Handle “a nightmare-inducing robot.” We couldn’t agree more, especially if Handle was working alongside us in a warehouse or delivering pizzas.