The latest from Boston Dynamics and their viral robot videos is here, and it’s a warehouse worker.
The new bot is based on the Handle, a robot revealed in 2017. It was the first departure from Boston Dynamics’ four-legged models, and sported two wheels and an upright posture instead. But about all that is left of that design is the torso and the wheels. The new Handle features a weighted counterbalance for a “tail” and a long neck.
The company says the new Handle can pick up boxes up to 33 pounds using vacuum suction cups on its “head.” If your warehouse uses matrix barcodes, it can also fulfill orders. Although the robots are shown in the video working in an open space, it seems unlikely that companies will jump to have tall, counterbalanced, free-roaming bots on the same floor as humans. The Handles are also much taller and have a wider turning radius than comparable autonomous lifts or inventory bots like the square box-movers used by Alibaba. But hey, Boston Dynamics gamely continues to try to find some marketable use for their weirdly organic machines.