Handle is a mobile robot that combines the rough-terrain capability of legs with the efficiency of wheels. It is designed for material-handling applications, and features a manipulator arm capable of picking up heavy boxes. It has also a swinging "tail" that helps it balance and move dynamically in tight spaces.
Did you know?
Famous for its walking robots, Boston Dynamics surprised the world when it introduced a robot with wheels.
Boston Dynamics introduced the first version of Handle in early 2017, describing it as an R&D robot. The design featured two wheels instead of feet, and the robot could travel at 15 km/h (9 mph) and jump 1.2 meter (4 feet) vertically. The robot used electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, and it relied on the same dynamics, balance, and mobile manipulation principles found in the legged robots built by Boston Dynamics. In April 2019, the company unveiled a new version of Handle. The new robot is designed as a mobile manipulation platform for logistics applications, and it can pick up heavy loads while occupying a small footprint, allowing it to maneuver in tight spaces. Handle can autonomously assemble and disassemble pallets and handling boxes in a warehouse. Boston Dynamics says wheels increase the range that the robot can cover on a battery charge, compared to traditional bipedal robot locomotion, and a wheeled system also helps reduce the number of degrees of freedom, making the robot less complex than some of the quadruped and biped robots that preceded it.