US engineering and robotics firm boston dynamics has started showing off its newest robot design. it posted a video on thursday of its latest autonomous robot intended for use in warehouses. the ‘handle’ robot is a new take on a model the company first debuted in 2017. back then ‘handle’ was the company’s first public ‘wheel-legged’ robot promoted for its ability to move efficiently.

boston dynamics unveils ostrich robot that's ready to work

images via boston dynamics



the new ‘handle’ still has wheel-legs (and backward-bending knees) but now it’s a little less…human. two robotic arms have been replaced with a single arm which extends from the top of the bot like the elongated neck of an ostrich. all of this is counterbalanced by a large swinging rear that keeps the robot stable as it lifts things and moves around.


the original handle robot
video by bostondynamics



after all this is likely to be what the robot will be doing. ‘handle’ is a smooth-moving robot designed for use in warehouses and factories as it specialises in handling and placing pallet-based boxes with a combination of speed and precision. on top of the neck-arm is an on-board vision system and a grid of vacuum suction cups that allow the robot to pick up boxes weighing up to 33 pounds and arrange them on pallets.

boston dynamics unveils ostrich robot that's ready to work



when ‘handle’ places a box onto a pallet, it uses force control to nestle each box up against its neighbors. handle works autonomously with pallets that are 1.2 m deep and 1.7 m tall (48 inches deep and 68 inches tall). it remains a prototype for now, but the company could showcase the robot at a logistics show next month. 

boston dynamics unveils ostrich robot that's ready to work


project info


company: boston dynamics

type: robot

model: handle