ROBOTICS FIRM Boston Dynamics has continued its tradition of adding to people's nightmares with the launch of Handle, a fresh bot that can move around at pace and would scare the nuts and bolts off of you if you came across it in a deserted warehouse.
Handle is the name of the thing and you can see it move around threateningly in the video below. It looks a bit like a Transformer from the comic books, but only if Transformers considered wheelchairs as a suitable Earth disguise. The video seems to be going out of its way to make Handle look charming, and shows the thing dancing around.
He, because he looks like a he, seems to be moving backwards, and it leaps handles ramps like a chap in such a fashion that shames the INQUIRER.
"Handle is a research robot that 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," says Boston Dynamics by way of introduction.
"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 are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds."
Handle can, but can we handle? People are predisposed to be terrified of robots in society because we have all seen Short Circuit, and no one wants to be stuck in a lift with that, nor a six-and- a-half foot version that can leap and wheel about at a pretty rapid pace. µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday