Boston Dynamics unveiled a new nightmare-inducing robot called Handle at the Abundance360 event in Los Angeles yesterday. Founder Marc Raibert took the stage to present its latest creation.
The company is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company that also owns Google and all of its related products. Its robots are widely popular, and many of them could find their way into human’s lives in the not-so-distant future.
Boston Dynamics has had a lot of successful experiments in robotics, but still, Alphabet might be planning to sell if off. A Bloomberg report from last year named Amazon and Toyota as possible buyers.
Boston Dynamics’ take on what nightmares are made of
Though most online reviewers call it a very scary robot, Handle can be excellent as well. Its unveiling video showed it racing around in a large warehouse and even doing some tricks, like jumping over an obstacle and spinning on its axis.
Its name reportedly comes from the fact that Handle will probably perform that very action in the workplace, somewhere in the coming years. Atlas, another previous robot by Boston Dynamics, could also find a niche in future warehouses and factories.
The fact that both robots share a common destiny might also be the reason for their similarities in appearance.
Marc Raibert said that Handle “experiment in combining wheels with legs, with a very dynamic system that is balancing itself all the time.” The robot’s software knows when and how to shift its weight at the right time to stay on its feet.
Handle, Atlas, and other BD-made robots
Boston Dynamic’s previous endeavor, the 6-foot Atlas robot, did not have a future application in hard labor only. Its designers wanted it to perform search and rescue tasks as well.
The latest video depicting an Atlas prototype showed that it could fall and get up on its own as also maneuver efficiently on uneven surfaces or terrain. Boston Dynamics’ Handle is very close in performance to its humanoid sibling, but can’t accomplish certain tasks because of its wheels.
Other previous endeavors by Boston Dynamics include the BigDog, Cheetah, and LittleDog robots, all of them on four legs. The Cheetah could gallop at speed close to 28 miles per hour on its mechanical legs, an astounding feat of engineering.
Robotic advancements tend to produce little money
The sad reality is that a large business such as Alphabet is not interested in a division such as Boston Dynamics if they are unable to generate substantial revenue.
Jonathan Rosenberg, former Senior VP of Google, explained the company’s bid to sell using similar words. Alphabet made an initial offering back in March 2016, but so far, there have been no further developments on this matter.
Source: Tech Times