Not too long ago, we touched upon Google’s advancements in the world of robotics. As it turns out, the company has not been sitting idle, as an updated version of their Handle robot has been introduced. Some people may see this as the scariest robot in the world today, although it quite an impressive feat of human engineering. Handle features both arms and wheels, and is capable of doing many things, including jumping over objects.
Handle Is The Robot Everyone Dreams Of
It has to be said, the progress made by Google’s Boston Dynamics is nothing short of amazing. The company had successfully created a robot-dog not too long ago, even though it was a rather noisy contraption. Ever since that time, the company has made significant strides in creating a versatile and powerful robotics. Handle is the perfect example of what future robots may look like.
To be more precise, Handle is quite an odd robot, yet one that shows what this industry is capable of. The design of the robot is a thing straight out of people’s nightmares, though. A fridge door on top of a mutilated car with two wheels serving as the “legs” of the machine is not something most people would like to see in a robot. Then again, Handle also features two arm-like objects, which allow it to self-balance even more precisely than before.
The wheels and arms allow Handle to zip around any surface with relative ease. The robot is also capable of performing squats that would make most athletes rather jealous. Even putting slopes along Handle’s path will not slow the robot down, as it can balance itself just fine, even when one of its “legs” is positioned at a higher or lower angle compared to the other. There is very little use for a robot that falls over as soon as it is not on a flat surface, after all.
That is not what creeps out most people, though. What is rather remarkable, is how Handle is capable of jumping. Not just bunny-hopping either, mind you, as the robot has a four-feet vertical leap that puts some NBA players to shame. There is a specific limit as to how high it can jump, but seeing a robot perform these moves flawlessly and not stumble is both amazing and concerning at the same time.
Weightlifting is another selling point for Handle, as the video below shows it is lifting a 100-lb crate with these appendages without breaking a proverbial sweat. More importantly, it appears these appendages have finger-like claws, which allow it to pick up baskets with tiny holes on the side without a problem. It is a far cry from how people pick up things, yet Handle is capable of doing this and be off to the races in the blink of an eye.
Speaking of getting off to the race, Handle is “only” capable of zipping by at 9 miles per hour. That is still a lot faster than human beings. Unfortunately, it can only go 15 miles without recharging, although the limit will be increased as more research is directed toward this project. There are still some issues and drawbacks that need to be overcome, but Boston Dynamics has put the world on notice.
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