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The latest offering by Google owned Boston Dynamics is frightening. Not only does it look frightening with its four legs and two wheels, its capabilities are pretty frightening too and it freaked me out a bit when I watched the video (below).
The robot called “Handle” stands at over six feet tall, has two front legs and has a pair of wheels at the back. It looks totally bizarre with a torso and chest, but no head and its arms are attached to its hips.
Besides looking bizarre, its been made like this to make it extremely agile and athletic. The addition of wheels enables the robot to roll around at speeds of nine miles per hour and can roll over almost all flat surfaces.
Handle also has legs which it uses for balance and stability so it’s essentially got the best of both worlds and can literally get anywhere it pleases. Heck, it can even handle snow, ice and even a flight of stairs!
Handle is also strong and can carry heavy objects up to 100 lb and roll away with it.
Handle is similar to its predecessors in terms of its dynamics but this time it only has 10 actuated joints. This considerably reduces complexity and increases robustness, giving it a similar jointed movement ability as human beings.
In the video the robot does a 4-foot vertical jump, speeds across rough terrain at almost 10 miles per hour, lifts and transports 100 pound crates and glides down stairs without falling over.
The robot can do all this over a range of about 15 miles in a single charge, which is particularly impressive.
Whilst I am really impressed by this robot and its technological achievements, it does kind of give you an insight into future and what it might hold for us humans.
Are we all doomed? Do you think robots like Handle will come for us all? Let me know what you think in the comments!