Boston Dynamics is At It Again, This Time With a Pallet-Loading Robot

Boston Dynamics

After Boston Dynamics has delighted us with jogging and dancing robots, it was time to go bigger. The engineers have recently introduced the Handle robot, a re-imagined design of the machine they initially showed off back in 2017.

That robot was able to spin, jump and run around harder than your most energetic 9-year-old but it has since been repurposed and redesigned to load pallets. Its two arms were replaced with just one that features something resembling suction cups that help it lift boxes.

Handle is now more bottom-heavy than its predecessor, whose initial design featured a bulky ‘head’ that allowed it to balance itself. Now the rear acts as a counterweight that helps it lift and move things around with more precision.

According to Boston Dynamics, Handle does all the work portrayed in the video above autonomously. If the boxes would be labeled with matrix barcodes, Handle would even be able to mix SKUs and fulfill orders.

This is the first time we see a factory-oriented robot from Boston Dynamics, and, while it maintains their trademark animal-like shape and fluid movements, it is the company’s first robot that is designed to accomplish an actual ‘useful’ job, as they say.

Boston Dynamics has not mentioned if they have any plans to mass-produce or introduce the robot as an alternative to human factory or warehouse work.

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