Disclaimer – I am low-key terrified of both AI and robots, so this isn’t fun for me.
Boston Dynamics, producers of robots that can run, jump and develop pack mentality, have “reimagined” their already terrifyingly mobile ‘Handle Robot’.
The previous model was designed as an experiment that applied Boston Dynamics’ robot knowledge about bipedal or quadrupedal bots to one with wheels, reports The Verge.
This time around, the machine is actually useful and can stack boxes. Watch it work:
I don’t like the way it moves. It’s far too confident.
It’s easy to see the applications of Handle in automating warehouse work (like say, Amazon’s fulfillment centers), with fleets of robots rolling around and grabbing boxes to build into a perfect, giant stack.
Yeah, because Amazon has a really good track record with robots. How many people were injured the last time one of them went rogue?
On a technical side, Boston Dynamics says that Handle can life [sic] up to 30-pound boxes (although the video used roughly 12-pound boxes), and can stack pallets up to 4 feet deep and up to 5.5 feet tall. Onboard vision systems help Handle find boxes to grab and track which pallets it’s supposed to be taking them to and from. Add that all together and it means that Handle could probably crush you at Giant Jenga.
‘Handle’ is just a prototype for now, which means that it’s probably going to get even more advanced.
On the upside, it won’t be in factories any time soon.
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