Following a leak earlier this month, all we had was a grainy snippet of video; but now Boston Dynamics has released the full video of Handle, their wheeled, figure-skating, jumping robot. Here it is shown doing a lot more than in the leaked clip:
What’s significant about this design is the wheels for feet. With Boston Dynamics’ other robots, which walk on either two or four legs, there is a lot of engineering required; on the other hand Handle, which “uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles? found in the quadruped and biped robots we build,” only requires “about 10 actuated joints, [making it] significantly less complex,” the company writes.
“Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.”
Some other stats of interest:
– The ‘bot is 6.5 feet tall
– It has a 4-foot vertical leap(!)
– It tops out at 9 miles per hour
– It has a 15-mile range on a single battery charge
You’ll note that in the video they showed it going down stairs, but not up; I wonder if it jumps to ascend staircases?